Processing Magazine

Professor honored for wastewater-to-biofuel research

July 17, 2012

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A unique research project designed to remove potentially harmful nutrients from wastewater while creating an alternative fuel source has earned national recognition for a faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Engineering.

Belinda Sturm, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, is the winner of a 2012 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award from the Academy of Environmental Engineers. Sturm earned an Honor Award in the University Research category for a project at the Lawrence Wastewater Treatment plant that utilizes algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater — while at the same time creating biomass that can be turned into fuel.

“It’s great to receive this type of recognition. It’s kind of neat to have a group of highly qualified professional engineers judge your work as something that should be rewarded,” Sturm said. “It’s really for KU for the efforts of the Feedstock to Tailpipe initiative.”

Feedstock to Tailpipe is sponsored by KU’s Transportation Research Institute and funded through separate grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the Department of Education.