Environmental Protection

UM, Adventus Recognize Future Environmental Leaders

The Adventus Group, a company involved in the soil, sediment and groundwater bioremediation industry, joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst to recognize emerging environmental scientists during the 25th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments and Water held in Boston recently.

This year’s contest winners were:

  • Pamela Schultz Birak, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, for her presentation on ”Rheological Characteristics of Manufactured Gas Plant Tars and Implications for Remediation."
  • Kayleigh Dunnett, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, for her presentation on "Biodegradation of Tert-butyl Alcohol (TBA) using Biological Granular Activated Carbon (Bio-GAC)”.
  • Laura Nicklaus, Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, Bradley University, for her presentation on "Magnesium Corrosion and Stabilization/Solidification Effectiveness Using the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure."
The three students were awarded $1,000 for the best overall scientific presentations by the Northeast Regional Environment Public Health Center and The School of Public Health.

This year’s judging committee consisted of Scott R. Blaha (General Electric), Matthew Burns (WSP Environment & Energy), David Ludwig (Arcadis), Dawn Oliveira (EFI Global, Inc.), Frank Peduto (Spectra Environmental Group), Paul Rakowski (Booz, Allen, Hamilton), Richard Raymond (Terra Systems), Christopher Teaf (Florida State University), Stephen P. Truchon (Arcadis), along with John Valkenburg and Josephine Molin from the Adventus Group.

"These impressive young environmentalists all displayed superb thought leadership and presentation skills. Selecting the winning themes was extremely difficult, although the industry will surely be hearing more from these students in years ahead,"said John Valkenburg of Adventus. "As our company continues to develop the next generation of remediation biotechnologies, it is our privilege to showcase the important role partnerships with the academic community and private sector organizations can play. A new feature called the Winner’s Circle has been added to our Web site, so the wider industry can enjoy an archived copy of their presentations”. The online link is available here.

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