National Science Foundation Grant for Engineering
August 29, 2017
Drs. Azadeh Bolhari and Daniel Castaneda of the Angelo State University engineering faculty, along with former faculty member Dr. Alex Mejia, have been awarded a $99,997 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a new research project on community water quality.
The grant is being awarded through the NSF’s Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program for their project titled “PPER: Developing Drought-Resilient Communities by Utilizing Acrylic Concrete Structures for Rainwater Harvesting.” Drs. Bolhari, Castaneda and Mejia will utilize the funding to engage in a water quality engineering research study that involves both citizen science and crowdsourcing activities with members of the local community.
This is the second NSF grant awarded to ASU’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering in 2017 and is ASU’s first under the EAGER program, which is used to “support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches.” In January, Mejia was one of four co-recipients of a $184,672 NSF grant to establish and host a national Literacy for Engineering Access and Participation Conference in San Antonio in May.
Now in her second semester on the ASU faculty, Bolhari specializes in environmental engineering and holds a Ph.D. from Colorado State University. Castaneda joined the ASU faculty in 2016 and specializes in structural and materials engineering. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Mejia joined ASU in 2015 as the second faculty member in the civil engineering program. During his time at ASU, he also won a 2016 William Elgin Wickenden Award for having the best research paper published in the American Society for Engineering Education’s Journal for Engineering Education. He recently joined the faculty at the University of San Diego.
Since its inception in the fall of 2015, ASU’s engineering program has grown to include more than 130 students and seven full-time faculty. The new Hunter Strain Engineering Labs facility officially opened on Aug. 1.