UTA Brings Students on Campus for STEM Outreach

UTA, WTS (Women in Transportation Seminar) and the Transportation YOU program, recently brought a group of junior high and high school girls from the Salt Lake Center for Science Education Charter School to participate in a lab experience on campus in the Civil department.

The group visited the Traffic and the Earthquake Mobile Labs. During the Traffic Lab tour they had the opportunity learn about different tools used by traffic and transportation engineers. The Earthquake Mobile Lab tour gave the group a hands on experience on the causes and implications of earthquake faulting and soil liquefaction as well as the types of damage caused following large, earthquake events.

Outreach in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department aims to introduce interested students in civil engineering and related STEM careers. If you would like more information on this please continue to the College of Engineering website.

Using Viruses to Help Clean Wastewater

Just as certain viruses infect humans, there also are viruses that infect only bacteria. Unlike human viruses, however, which are non-discriminatory and will infect any number of different people, these viruses, known as bacteriophages, are “host-specific,” meaning each will attack only one particular bacteria.

“Wherever bacteria exist, there are bacteriophages,” says Ramesh Goel, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Utah. “If we go to any wetland, or streams or wastewater treatment process, bacteria are there, and so are bacteriophages.”

Goel believes he can put this phenomenon to good use.

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientist, who studies the microbial ecology of natural and engineered systems, particularly those that use microbes to remove pollutants and other contaminants from waste water, is trying to harness the power of bacteriophages to rid treated wastewater of problematic bacteria that cause operational problems during treatment.

Read more of the story at the NSF website.