The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON - Recent presentations by Marshall University professor Isaac Wait and assistant professor Sungmin Youn at the West Virginia Chamber 2019 Environmental and Energy Conference in Charleston both focused on water, but in different ways.

Both teach civil and environmental engineering in Marshall University's College of Information Technology and Engineering and shared information about recent research projects. The conference is where experts share the latest federal and state environmental and energy regulations and research.

Youn's presentation highlighted his efforts to develop a low-cost approach to the removal of disinfection by-products (DBPs) from drinking water, through filtration utilizing recycled and processed coffee grounds.

Given that many communities in West Virginia are threatened by periodic outbreaks of harmful algal blooms, such as the 2015 bloom on the Ohio River that contributed to a spike of DBP concentrations in finished drinking water, the development of new, less-costly ways to remove natural organic matter (NOM) precursors may be an important tool to improve drinking water quality and protect human health, according to Youn's presentation.

Wait's presentation described a recent project to characterize rainfall interception by mixed deciduous woods, and the resulting effect on the timing and quantity of stormwater runoff during flash floods.

Seasonal variation of the density of tree cover causes an observable change in the effect of rainfall interception by trees, but these variable effects are not routinely accounted for when hydrologists and engineers develop runoff hydrographs. By isolating the specific contribution of vegetative interception to lag time, Wait hopes to enable for enhanced accuracy of stormwater flow estimates, and improved design of the culverts, channels and bridges that exist to accommodate those flows, according to Wait's presentation.

Wait and Youn are among many faculty members in CITE who participate in finding the solutions to many challenges in the areas of engineering, computer science, and applied science and technology, said Dr. Wael Zatar, dean of the College of Information Technology and Information.


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