College of Engineering News Room
USF Environmental Engineering PhD Candidate Awarded Roy W. Likins Scholarship
Adaline Buerck was awarded a Roy W. Likins Scholarship to support her doctoral studies in environmental engineering at the University of South Florida. This scholarship is awarded annually by the Florida section of the American Water Works Association (FLAWWA) to students pursuing a degree relating to the drinking water industry. Applicants are judged based on their academic performance, work experience, community and civic activities, honor, career goals, letters of recommendation, and evidence of leadership, motivation, character, and self-reliance.
Buerck’s interdisciplinary research has the goal of improving global health associated with chemical pollution by reducing exposure to lead (Pb) from locally produced products through education and decision modification of product manufacturers. Lead contamination of drinking water is not only an important health issue in the United States but throughout the world. Adaline’s research takes place in a city in the sub-Saharan country of Madagascar. There, as in many cities around the world, rapid urbanization has taken place over the past decades, especially in the expansion of informal settlements.
The municipal water provider is challenged by operational inefficiencies and lacks the capacity to upgrade aging infrastructure; thus, thousands of households either cannot afford or do not have access or continual service to piped utility water. To provide water, local manufacturers produce hand pumps from local materials and attach them to a well point that is installed below the ground surface in shallow groundwater. Adaline’s research supports a project that is improving health by not only innovating leadless pump and well components but also by using social marketing techniques to develop effective training materials for local pump manufacturers.