Carnegie Mellon University
October 24, 2013

Dowd-ICES Fellowship Seminar

Dowd-ICES Fellowship Seminar
The College of Engineering with ICES hosted a seminar to showcase the research of the 2012 and 2013 Dowd-ICES Fellows and the funded work of the 2012 Dowd Teaching Fellow.  

Among the fellows, Amin Aghaei presented his project "Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Biological and Bio-Mimetic Membranes for Engineered Drug-Delivery". Aghaei recently completed his PhD studies and was advised by Assistant Professor Kaushik Dayal

The project involves developing a novel multi-scale framework for the study of the mechanical properties and equilibrium configuration of biological and engineered drug delivery membranes. The mechanics of shape and deformation of the membranes is centrally important for many cellular functions. By using all symmetries of the atomic structure of the membrane, the framework is a mixed continuum and atomistic approach to reproduce the results of fully-atomistic techniques at a fraction of the computational cost. 

The developed framework will be useful to study a wide range of structures, from nanotubes and graphene sheets to the membranes that form the outer boundaries of cells to the transport vesicles which travel within cells, and the membranes surrounding enveloped viruses such as HIV.

2012 Dowd Teaching Fellow and CEE Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Jeanne VanBriesen also presented her funded teaching project: "Water and Wastewater Treatment for Energy and Resource Recovery." Her fellowship supports her efforts to write a new textbook that will focus on advanced analysis and modern design for biological wastewater systems. 

Wastewater treatment has long been designed and analyzed with a mass-based approach.  While this remains an important component of systems analysis, incorporating an energy approach is needed to address our increasingly complex wastewater treatment plants.  Sustainable water and wastewater treatment will consider how energy can be produced during wastewater treatment and how resources can be extracted from wastewater for subsequent reuse. Considering traditional activated sludge, trickling filters, anaerobic digesters, as well as new technologies like membrane bioreactors, constructed wetlands, and microbial fuel cells, the book will provide an up-to-date wastewater treatment textbook for modern engineers.   

The Dowd-ICES graduate student fellowships are made possible by an endowment from Philip L. Dowd (B.S. Materials Science Engineering, 1963) and Marsha Dowd. Fellowships are awarded to support graduate students who are conducting cutting-edge research on projects for which traditional sources of funding may not be available.

For more information about this event and to read about the other Dowd Fellows, please click this link