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Likun Hua, a doctoral environmental engineering student working with Professor Wen Zhang in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, has received a $31,000 award to work at Brisea Group International Inc. for six months as part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) INTERN program. Likun’s internship is designed to supplement his current research in Zhang’s lab with six months of non-academic research internship activities and training.
Environmental Engineering Doctoral Student Likun Hua Receives $31,000 NSF INTERN Grant
The INTERN program is geared at increasing the competitiveness of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce in the US. This program is a great opportunity for students supported by a PI’s active NSF award to gain experience outside of academia and expose themselves to anything from new equipment/methods to building relationships with future employers.
The INTERN award is a supplement to Zhang’s NSF grant in 2016, which funded his project entitled “Development of Multifunctional Reactive Electrochemical Membranes for Biomass Recovery with Fouling Reduction, Water Reuse, and Cell Pretreatment.” Likun will be spending six months at BRISEA Group, Inc. a technology development company in New Jersey USA. Zhang’s efforts in technology commercializationwas initiated through the 2017 NSF I-Corps project and with intensive customer interview and market analysis, we came to realize REM technology holds great potential to be designed into compact, portable, and cost-effective water treatment devices for small onsite or point-of-use (POU) applications. Our research results provide evidence in pollutant removal and microbial cell inhibition and damage. The proposed internship activity will take place at our industrial partner’s company, Brisea Inc. Brisea has been collaborating with us in several grant proposals, including EPA SBIR phase I proposal and NSF STTR proposal. These proposals largely focus on examination of drinking water quality with REM filtration and demonstration of removal efficiency of emerging water contaminants. Moreover, due to the prior interactions and collaborations, Brisea has signed corporate agreements on IP and non-disclosure agreement with NJIT, which are both submitted in this proposal submission.