Amadeo TrujilloMajor: Civil Engineering Mentor: Dr. Lambis Papelis, Associate ProfessorCivil Engineering Department at New Mexico State University
I am a 23-year-old Hispanic male who has been attending NMSU since the Fall of 2012. I graduated from a small high school located in northern New Mexico called Taos High School, and it was there that I gained an interest in math and science which is what drove me towards the Civil Engineering profession. As I have grown older and really became a professional at NMSU my interests have only furthered and it has been the perfect environment for me to develop the skills necessary to prosper in this field. My work experience in the engineering field all consists of laboratory work, specifically, work in the environmental engineering laboratory under a faculty mentor. I have worked two summers and two semesters in a program called AMP which allowed me to gain the funding necessary for my participation in various undergraduate research projects. My long term career goals are to gain my Masters in Environmental Engineering followed by a professional license in order to enter the industry and provide sustainable design and development techniques going into the future.
Iron-Modified Zeolite Permeable Reactive Barrier
Environmental quality is one of the major concerns of society moving forward into the future, and of these concerns, contamination from trace metals and metalloids is among the most important. Contaminants particularly detrimental to the health of humans as well as having adverse effects on aquatic environments, in general, include oxyanions of arsenic and selenium. Zeolites, abundant minerals found throughout New Mexico and many other parts of the world, are particularly suitable for the remediation of contaminated sites for the following reasons. Zeolites are porous and have large surface area, thereby can be used as molecular-scale filters that can remove metals from groundwaters. In order to make them even more versatile, zeolites will be coated with iron oxides in order to produce a permeable reactive barrier that can be used to remove oxyanions of arsenic and selenium from contaminated ground-waters and protect drinking water sources. In the first phase, the purpose of this research is to develop an understanding of the sorption behavior of arsenic and selenium on iron-modified zeolites as a function of solution composition, while in the second phase the impact of microbial activity will also be assessed. This research will fill a significant gap in our knowledge of microbial interactions with permeable reactive barriers for the remediation of contaminated sites and source water protection.