Student Prepares for Sophomore Year at the U by Researching in Lab this Summer

Already active in the Engineering Scholars Program and ASCE, first-year student Melissa Jackson’s engineering studies are off to a promising start.

Melissa Jackson just completed her first year at the U, where she was an active student and community member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Jackson was involved in the department’s chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where she got to participate in activities such as tours of the Salt Lake City International Airport while it was under construction and being shown the Geotechnical Labs by the staff at Intermountain GeoEnvironmental Services, Inc. (IGES).

Additionally, she was a member of the college’s Engineering Scholars Program, which is a cohort of students who, having demonstrated high academic achievement, build connections, friendships, and experience while also participating in unique hands-on experiences and opportunities.

Outside her interests in Civil Engineering, Jackson enjoyed being involved with the community at the U by going to football games and being a member of the U’s Marching Band.

Most notably, however, Jackson has particularly enjoyed working in Dr. Weidhaas’ lab during her first year, where she first assisted in a project researching ion exchange for munitions industrial wastewater treatment in the Spring.

This Summer, Jackson is part of a project to evaluate the retention of antibiotic resistance genes in biofilms in water systems. Funding for the munitions wastewater work is being provided by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.

“It has been a great learning opportunity to get hands on experience with real world problems,” said Jackson.

Melissa’s plans as a CvEEN major are to keep exploring what both the field and industry of Civil Engineering have to offer and she is currently leaning towards an emphasis in Environmental and Water engineering or Geotechnical Engineering.