CEINT Mesocosm Photo Tour

Research at CEINT is designed to produce information on mechanisms determining nanomaterial exposure and hazard in the environment. A key component to understanding how nanoparticles affect the larger environment is the ability to accurately predict effects of exposure in specific bioüptake mechanisms. The CEINT Mesocosm Facility was constructed to simulate wetland ecosystems, enabling a wide array of uniquely realistic investigations into the mechanisms that govern nanomaterial transport, transformation, ecological interactions, biouptake and biological interactions. The findings from these environmentally relevant systems provide a continuous source of critical information that helps prioritize the focus of experimental research at the laboratory and microcosm scales as well as informs the theoretical models CEINT is developing to predict nanomaterial interactions with the environment.

CEINT Mesocosm Facility

Group Picture
Kalynn Chambers and Demi Davis
Kalynn Chambers and Demi Davis
Brook Teffera
Brook Teffera
Tyler Hobson
Tyler Hobson
Christian Joseph
Christian Joseph
How are we doing?
Surveys online this year include
How are we doing year 1?
Most beneficial aspects of CENT placements
Tracking Silver Nanoparticles Aging in the Environment
Silver Nanoparticle Impact on Biofilm Viability: Effect of Adborbed Natural Organic Matter
Predicting Attachment of Nanoparticles Coated with Organic Macromolecules
Biodegradation of Nanoparticle Surface Coatings
Adsorbed Polymer and NOM Limits Adhesion and Toxicity of Nano Scale Zero-Valent Iron (NZVI) to E. coli.
Coated Fe(0) Nanoparticles Shifts Microbial Communities and Increases Biomass
Nanoparticles Grow vi Condensation of Sulfate and Organics
Properties and Environmental Fate of Airborne Particles Released During Nanomaterial Production, Use, and Disposal
Size-dependent Uptake of Gold Nanoparticles by a Freshwater Clam
AG NP Embryotoxicity across a Salinity Gradient - The Role of Coatings and Dissolved Silver
Trophic Transfer and Bioaccumulationof Gold NPs
Intracellular uptake, intergenerational transfer, and toxicity of silver nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans
Silver nanoparticles: Influence on physiology and behavior when administered from early development
Silver Nanoparticles Affect Microbial Diversity in Wastewater and Soils Receiving Biosolids
Sunlight Reduced the Toxicity of Polymer-Stablized Silver Nanoparticles
Synthesis and Characterization of Silver Nanoparticles
Newly Discovered Natural and Incidental Nanoparticles
Role of NOM for precipitation, growth, and aggregation of metal sulfide and silver nanoparticles
Relationship Between Nanoparticle Production and Emission
Modeling the Environmental Risks from Nanoparticles
Deciding What Properties Matter
Research Prioritization for Nanomaterial Risk Assessment
Mesocosm Shared Facility
Nanoparticle Detection and Abundance of PVP-Ag 10 nm in Mesocosm Water Using CytoViva Hyperspectral Image Analysis
Nano Days 2009
Nano Days 2010
Effect of silver nanoparticles on plants and microbes
Nanosilver Toxicity to the Medaka Eleutheroembryo
Innovation in the CEINT's Website
Protocols for Nanomaterial Preparation and Experimentation
Understanding the Effect of Adsorbed Organic Macromolecules on Nanoparticle Reactivity
Tobacco Plants Take Up Gold(Au) Nanoparticles
Estimating Global Nano-Titanium Dioxide Production
A Rare Look at Nanoparticles Reactivity and Aggregation
Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Using Environmentally Friendly Dispersant
CEINT Investigator Receives Post-Doc Mentoring Award
Mesocosm Construction
Bianca Bailey
Rising Senior Chemical Engineering Howard University, Washington, DC CEINT Research Site: Lowry Lab- CMU As a rising graduating senior, I am in the process of researching institutions that appeal to my interest in an advanced degree in environmental nanotechnology as it relates to water quality issues. Institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Duke University and Howard University provide me with options to study and conduct independent research. This program will allow me to visit, interact and become acquainted with these campuses and their culture. In addition I will be able to interact with professors on site that could provide insight on nanotechnology research and graduate programs available. I see the Research for Undergraduate Fellows under the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) as a two-way street. Not only will this program shape me into becoming a more competitive undergraduate researcher and potential graduate student, but each institution has the chance to benefit from the completed research, creativity and possibility to recruit me a as potential engineering minority graduate student for their university. I am excited about the Research for Undergraduate Fellows under the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT). This program allows me the opportunity to expand my horizons, to become familiar with the unfamiliar so that I can become the most competent and global researcher I can be!
Caroline Sorensen
Rising Senior Engineering and Environmental Science Sweet Briar College, VA CEINT Research Site: Wiesner Lab- Duke University My name is Caroline Sorensen and I am a rising senior at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. I am a double major in engineering and environmental science. As per the requirements for my engineering major, I took a course in materials science during which I was assigned a research paper on a topic of personal interest. I chose the environmental implications of nanotechnology and focused on the life cycle of nanoparticles in the environment. I spent hours researching this topic and found myself so fascinated that, even after I completed the paper, I continued to read books and articles, and subscribed to magazines just so I could discover everything there was to know about the technology. I knew that conducting research at the CEINT would be a valuable experience because my college does not extend the opportunity to work with the subject that I am most interested in. Research excites me because there is always something new to discover. No matter how well educated a person is, there is always the opportunity to learn something new through research. I saw this program as an opportunity to combine two distinct passions of mine – engineering and environmental science. I know that the skills and knowledge that I gain from this experience will stay with me as I continue my studies and delve into my career.
Hannah Thames
Rising SeniorCivil and Environmental + French Major Loyola Marymount University, California CEINT Research Site: the CEREGE, Aix-en-Province, France As a French and civil environmental engineering double major, I was immediately drawn to the CEINT program’s partnership with CEREGE in Aix-en-Provence. After working with a professor at Loyola Marymount University who is publishing a book on nanotechnology, I wanted to be more exposed to the field because there is so much important research yet to be done. This summer I look forward to researching zero-valent iron nanoparticles with Dr. Naresh Kumar with enthusiasm.
Juan Carlos Silva Martinez
Rising JuniorChemical EngineeringUniv. of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez CampusCEINT Research Site: Ferguson Lab - Duke University My interests are related to nanoparticles and their functionalization for improvements of our lives. Also, I want to participate and collaborate with studies that can help with the production of novel data that can lead to new technologies for protecting our home, the Earth. This summer internship at CEINT will give me the experience in my area of interest, nanotechnology and nanomaterial sciences with real and exciting outside lab experiences. This program is really important to me because it will teach me new scientific skills and knowledge in nanoscience and it relationship or effects in the environment.
Raymond Pierson
Rising Senior Bio-environmental Engineering Cornell University CEINT Research Site: Marr Lab- Virginia Tech University I am a rising senior from Cornell University studying Bio-environmental Engineering. I was attracted to the REU program with CEINT because of its research investigating the life cycle of potential contaminants and their possible toxicological effects. Nanoparticles are particularly interesting potential contaminants to study because their small size makes them behave in unique ways and their high surface area to volume ratio makes them more reactive for a given mass than larger particles. In Professor Marr's lab at Virginia Tech, I will study engineered nanoparticles emitted from commercial products using nanomaterials and how they behave in the atmosphere. Of particular interest is how the nanoparticles change or effect changes in the atmosphere though interactions with other materials.
Karen Yu
Rising Senior Civil and Environmental EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityCEINT Research Site: Hsu-Kim Lab- Duke University A research experience with CEINT would be an excellent opportunity to prepare for graduate school by gaining more research experience. I am certain I want to work in some field related to environmental protection, but I am undecided about which area of environmental engineering I would like to focus on in graduate school. One way to find out would be to participate in different kinds of research projects as an undergraduate so that I could find out what interests me most. Additionally, participating in research at a different university would offer a different perspective and further help me in determining my future direction. At CMU, I've worked on a surface chemistry/transport project and a microbiology project. I'm hoping to do something a bit different at Duke so that I have a better idea of the different research fields in environmental engineering.
Lily Shepard
Rising Junior Mechanical EngineeringDuke University CEINT Research Site: CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France My interest in the CEINT REU program was first peaked last summer while working as a research assistant at the CEINT mesocosms. I find it incredibly exciting to be able to contribute towards research on a topic at the cutting edge of science. I am a Mechanical Engineering major pursuing a certificate in Energy and the Environment at Duke University and as such I am interested in both the range of uses for nanomaterials and their environmental impacts.
Sarah Weber
Rising Junior Engineering Smith College CEINT Research Site: Hinton Lab- Duke University I am was interested in CEINT because I want to get an advanced degree in nanoscale engineering and want to know of the ecological ramifications of nano-pollutants. During my freshman year of college I was introduced to the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and became enamored with the nanoscale. I had read about interesting nanotechnology developments but seeing specimens nanometers in diameter made nanotechnology tangible. That summer I took part in a lab researching the initial molecular formation of biofilms. Biofilms are highly adhesive molecular films that allow for organisms to grow on smooth aqueous surfaces. I studied how salt affects the amount of the polysaccharide alginate adsorbed to the surface of a charged silica wafer. Alginate is secreted by brown seaweed and forms a film on the hulls of ships allowing for the adhesion of algae. The SEM and my research on biofilms inspired my interest in nanotechnology. In one of my engineering classes I conducted a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Wind turbines and Solar Panels; the LCA showed me that everything has an ecological impact. I had always assumed “green energy” had no substantial negative impacts on the environment, but at the conclusion of the research I found that about 300,000 Kg CO2 is produced in the production of a 500kW wind turbine. I was shocked by my findings and became curious as to the impacts of nanotechnology.
Ryan Murphy
Rising Junior Chemistry MajorClemson University CEINT Research Site: Vikesland Lab- Virginia Tech University The reason I choose CEINT for my summer internship is because my future plans focus around participating and/or leading chemical research. Because nano-scale science and nanotechnology are the next major steps in chemistry as well as industry it is crucial that I have experience in nanoscience in order to be on the cutting edge. Also, as environmentalism becomes more prevalent in mainstream society, science will be required to prove it is not harming the environment. A CEINT internship will provide experience in both the advancement and understanding of the environmental effects of nano-scale science and thus was my first choice for an internship this summer.
Sarah Welsh
Rising Junior Chemistry and English - Double MajorWestminster CollegeCEINT Research Site: Gregory Lab - Carnegie Mellon University I chose to participate in the CEINT summer program because it was a great way to get involved in cutting edge research. I love that science is always changing; there’s always a new field that has never been studied in the past, or simply a new way of looking at a known field. CEINT was able to provide me with an opportunity to actively participate in research in an exciting, up-and-coming field. It was also important to me that this is an interdisciplinary program. Through CEINT, chemists, engineers, biologists, and more collaborate to find answers to pressing questions about nanotechnology’s effects on the environment. This collaboration allows for a more rounded, complete understanding of the questions at hand. I’m very excited to be a part of this research center that is contributing fresh knowledge to such a growing field.
Stephanie Barton
Rising Senior Biology MajorWest Virginia University CEINT Research Site: Wiesner Lab - Duke University I first became interested in applying for the REU summer internship program with CEINT during my junior year at WVU, in which I was assigned a capstone project. The purpose of the capstone is for students to act in the capacity of a principal investigator by completing funding proposals, designing an experimental project, and reporting observations and conclusions in the form of a scientific manuscript. My group chose to conduct a project that explored the interactive effects of nano-titanium dioxide and daphnia pulex on the hopping rate, heart rate, population growth, carapace size, and overall biomass of daphnia magna. This project peaked my interest in the field of nanomaterials, especially in the risk assessment aspect that Dr. Wiesner and his students are dedicated to researching here at Duke. One of his students, Lauren Barton, has also been an enormous influence on my desire to pursue research on nanomaterials. As a role model and my older sister, Lauren’s enthusiasm and dedication to her work has excited me on researching the potential environmental implications of nanoparticles.
Stacey Saba
Rising Senior Materials Science in Engineering MajorCornell University CEINT Research Site: Liu Lab - Duke University In previous research work I’ve had the opportunity to fabricate nanostructures. However aside from the practical applications of my work I had never given much thought to the implications of what I was doing. I chose the CEINT REU because it would give me not only the opportunity to learn the process of nanoparticle synthesis but also help me to think critically about the work that we’re doing as a society and its significance. With the tangible impact of new technologies that are readily available to us, it is vital that we use all of our resources to the best of our ability and consider the ramifications of our research. The relevance of the project as well as the learning experience of working in a new laboratory under the guidance of a mentor ultimately drew me to this project.
Tara Soni
Rising Junior Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of Technology CEINT Research Site: Bernhardt Lab- Duke University I have been interested in research since I was a high school student, when I got the opportunity to work in the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute. I have been always been interested in environmental issues and I am currently an environmental engineering major. Last summer, I got my first taste of environmental research in the Polz Lab at MIT. I was attracted to the CEINT REU program because the research immediately appealed to me. Nanotechnology is an important field that can redefine the scale of current projects. I did not have any experience with nanotechnology and wanted to gain experience and understanding, in an effort to fully understand the broad range and scope of environmental research. The structure of the program also allows me to learn more about the many connections between the many research projects at such an interdisciplinary center
Lila Thornton
Rising Junior Biology and Environmental Science Duke University CEINT Research Site: Meyer Lab- Duke University The CEINT REU immediately appealed to me and not just because I'm studying environmental science and biology. The program presented a way for me to get involved in the research of an emerging technology that's quickly becoming a part of our everyday lives. What I'm most excited about is doing research that combines my interests in nanotechnology and toxicology. Granted, I didn't know a lot about nanoparticles before starting this program. After the first week, though, I'd say nanotechnology has definitely captivated my curiosity.
15. Ag NPs rapidly transform to Ag2S and Ag-S (organic) in natural and engineered systems
8. Avoidance of AG NPs at environmentally relevant concentrations
1. CEINT Organizational Structure and Research Roles
9. Commercial vs. Home-Made Materials
6. CEINT Expands Education Programs
10. Forescasts and measurements of nanosilver in wastewater
11. Mapping Nanoparticle Properties to Toxicity
4. Preliminary Mesocosm Results
3. Mesocosm Shared Facility
12. Research at Multiple Scales and Levels of Complexity
5. NanoDays 2011: CEINT Expands Outreach Nationally
14. Nanoparticle Coatings Matter... or not
16. Predicting deposition of NPs Coated with organic macromolecules
2. Protocol Development
7. ToxCast High-throughput screening (HTS) of nanomaterial bioactivites in cultured cells and zebrafish embryos
13. Trophic Transfer of Nanomaterials
1. Lab ≠ Mesocosms
2. Organisms are exposed to transformed NPs
3. Deposition of Nanoparticles - Effect of Size and Surface Modification
4. Impact of NP coating on bacterial toxicity
5. Nano has been here all along
6. Trophic Transfer of Au Nanoparticles
7. Cirate-coated AG NPs undergo maternal transfer in Caenorhabditis elegans
8. Risk Forecasting
9. Toxicity Reduction of AgNPs by Sunlight
10. Detection of Nanomaterials in Complex Media
11. Cross-Referencing Nanomaterial Properties with Nanomaterial Bioactivity (CEINT collaboration with EPA)
12. NIST-CEINT collaboration - Protocol development
13. 2008-12: CEINT Impacts Partner University Programs
15. 2008-12: CEINT Outreach Expands Nationally
Site survey
The locations of the future boxes are measured and marked on the mesocosm site.
Alpha version
The original plan was to dig large holes and have the mesocosms below ground level. For a number of reasons, this idea was abandoned.
Building the mesocosm boxes
Wooden frames that will become the sides of the mesocosm boxes. The four sides of each box were then assembled on site and bolted to the ground.
Lining the boxes
Reinforced polypropylene liner laid inside the boxes to waterproof them. We then poured several inches of homogenized dirt dug from a nearby site on top of this liner.
Shaping the inside of the boxes
Screening sand is poured in the wooden boxes and shaped to our specifications. Namely a horizontal, flat bottom at the deep end, and a slope going above water level at the other hand.
Planting the boxes
Various plants endemic to the region are planted according to a grid pattern on the slope of each mesocosm.
Site is shaping up
Most of the mesocosms are built and ready to receive the probes and sensors that will monitor them continuously for several years.
Up and running
Closeup on one of the mesocosm boxes.
TiO2 NP Photocatalyzed Degradation of Benzo(a)pyrene Increases Toxicity to Zebrafish
Environmental Transport & Transformations: Nano Examples from Natural and Engineered Highly Complex (Real) Envrionments
Silver Nanoparticles affect Drosophilia
Attachment Efficiency: Predicting ENM transport and attachment
Modeling Nanosilver Transformations in Freshwater Sediments
Meta-Analysis of in vivo pulmonary toxicity studies
Toxicogenomic Effects of Au-NPs on C. elegans
Trophic Transfer Enhances Bioavailability of Au Nanoparticles
Fate and Transport of Nano TiO2 at Expected Environmental Concentrations
CEINT-NISE Net Partnership - Highlighted as Model
Gold NPs with Positive or Negative Charge
Environmental properties are at least as important as nonomaterial properties in assessing behavior and effects
Darkfield Hyperspectral Imaging Microscopy: Nanoparticle Characterization and Analysis in Complex (Real) Environments
Modeling the Environmental Release, Transport, Transformation and Biouptake of Nanomaterials: An Integrated Center-wide Initiative
Andrew Drum
Rising Senior Biological EngineeringUniversity of Missouri, Columbia (Mizzou) CEINT Research Site: DiGuilio Lab, Duke University Participating in the CEINT REU at Duke University this summer taught me a great deal not only about nanotechnologies, but also about the general academic research process. Working as individuals on a collaborative team was an effective way of learning about different nano-technology uses and properties. Our weekly CEINT interactions motivated me to further my research. Working in the lab with graduate students also expedited adaptation to lab life. The CEINT REU gave me motivation and direction heading into my senior year at Mizzou. I made friends from colleges across the US, and will stay connected with them for years. Career Impacts and Plans This summer (2013) I will be doing an internship for Yadkin Riverkeeper in Winston Salem, NC. My CEINT background definitely helped me secure the spot for an environmental project. Graduate School Plans I learned about the MEM program at Duke during the REU program, applied and was accepted and will attend fall (2013). I think this may be one of the more impactful decisions I have made.
Dawn Smith
Rising Senior Microbiology Purdue University CEINT Research Site: Gregory Lab, Carnegie Mellon University During my internship experience, I had the opportunity to work with and learn from talented researchers, mentors and refine my laboratory skills. I met and interacted with talented REU students from many different backgrounds and programs. Each of us benefited from sharing our research progress at the end of the summer. Not only did we learn about the different areas of nanotechnology development and risk assessment, but we were also able to connect our different majors through research projects that incorporated multiple disciplines. I also enjoyed the weekly meetings at my research site where graduate students presented their research. It was fascinating to hear about current research involved with nanotechnology and its transport in the environment. As I worked on my project, I appreciated my mentors’ encouragement to challenge myself and put forth my best effort. This experience made me more conscious of planning experiments in advance in order to work with both schedules of myself and my mentee's. Overall, my research experience was very beneficial. I enjoyed working with my mentors and fellow REU students, and appreciated the organization and support from everyone involved with CEINT and Go Research! Career Impacts and Plans The CEINT program solidified my interest in bioremediation related research as well as expanded my horizons through the interdisciplinary environment. After I finished the REU, I was inspired to pursue bioremediation related research through Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Ultimately I am interested in doing research for government agencies such as the EPA in order to reduce soil and water pollution. Graduate School Plans During the REU program I had the opportunity to work with the faculty and graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University. I was impressed by the collegial and collaborative environment I witnessed while working on my internship last summer. I also found the project I worked on over the summer very intriguing. Because of my experience at CEINT, I decided to apply and was accepted in the CEE department at Carnegie Mellon University for fall 2013.
Annastassia Gallo
Rising SeniorChemistry Arcadia University CEINT Research Site: Tilton Lab, Carnegie Mellon University CEINT brought together many disciplines of nanotechnology, from fields I had been exposed to and others I had not. It was an incredible learning opportunity-not only to see how these fields of science work together on environmental issues, but also be a part of the ongoing research. One of the greatest experiences that I had was that I worked independently on a project, yet was part of a group at CMU because it gave me the sense of the graduate school environment. Career Impacts and Plans CEINT helped me realize that research is what I plan to do in the next step in my career. This REU experience helped me obtain an internship at the USDA Agricultural Research Service for Spring 2013. Graduate School Plans I am attending Temple University for Inorganic Chemistry and beginning my research there in the summer of 2013.
Tejas Raje
Rising Senior Engineering & Physics Cornell CEINT Research Site: Vikesland Lab, Virginia Tech My time at CEINT gave me the opportunity to perform scientific research and to obtain new experiences. I enjoyed my time at Duke and Virginia Tech, when I was able to perform interesting research in nanotechnology and got the opportunity to learn about the many different types of research being performed in this field and to work with graduate students and professors who were very helpful in teaching me about the subject and helping show me how to perform my research project. Career Impacts and Plans Ultimately I decided that I did not want to pursue science in the future, but the experiences I gained in the CEINT REU program will definitely help me wherever I go.
Carmen Kuan
Rising Senior Environmental Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CEINT Research Site: Hinton Lab, Duke University The CEINT REU program was a valuable experience because I was able to gain research skills in nanoscience as well as add the experience to my resume for my pursuits in grad school and career opportunities. I met a lot of great people with the same passion for science and research as I do, which made getting along much easier since we were able to discuss and help each other in our research projects. My post-doc mentor in the Hinton lab was very helpful throughout the internship and gave me a lot of good advice about graduate school and finishing up my last year in college. Dr. Kelly, the CEINT program director, is very committed to the program and will help the interns out in any way they need. The orientation at the beginning of the internship helped me to get to know my fellow interns and settle into Durham, NC for the summer. Overall, the CEINT REU program is a quality research and personal experience. Career Impacts and Plans The CEINT REU has provided me with additional research experience that has helped to ready my resume for applications to graduate school or jobs in the research industry and also motivated me to pursue graduate studies within a few years after I graduate. Graduate school plans: I intend to study the interaction between hydrology and ecology in wetlands and work towards my Ph.D.. I will be applying to Stanford, UC Berkeley, Duke, UNC, and UGA.
David R. Cutting
Rising Junior Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Tulane University CEINT Research Site: Bernhardt Lab, Duke University One of the most exciting aspects of the CEINT REU program was the interdisciplinary collaboration inherent in nearly all of CEINT’s projects. As a Chemical Engineering student, a Biology lab felt unusual to say the least. By the end of the program I had learned a new skillset and felt comfortable in my setting. Getting to collaborate with all of CEINT’s departments really proved how diversity in background promotes and enhances the scholarly research process. CEINT taught me that no department has boundaries. I was able to network with friends and colleagues around the country and around the world and forge many lasting relationships. Career Impacts and Plans Confirmed that research was the correct path for me! I plan to transition to a PhD program in Chemical Engineering with a nanomaterials focus.
Raisa Tikhtman
Rising Senior Biochemistry and French Transylvania University CEINT Research Site: CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France The benefits from my summer as an intern at the CEREGE in Aix-en-Provence stem from the simultaneous scientific and cultural immersion reaped from performing research in a foreign country. Not only did I gain an improved understanding of the potential implications of the nanoparticle invasion of commercial products and their specific identities, but I also was provided the opportunity to expand my repertoire of conversational and scientific French vocabulary. My research project, focusing on the fate of cerium oxide nanoparticles as they interact and aggregate with clays in aquatic mesocosms, required a significant amount of independence and tolerance for trial-and-error. I felt truly integrated into the laboratory environment at the CEREGE and had opportunities to consult post-docs and graduate students, in addition to my two mentors, while refining and directing my project. This experience provided an intimate perspective on the patience and collaboration required of a career in research, as well as a detailed outlook on the massive field of nanotechnology and its applications. The orientation and seminar components of the program served to enlighten me on the relationship between research and environmental policy, and I am inspired to seek a career at the crossroads between science and its political implications. Career Impacts and Plans This summer (2013) I will be studying abroad in Madagascar through the School for International Training’s program, "Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems." My REU experience with CEINT initiated my interest in science as an informant for environmental and health policy, and my study abroad plans represent a continuation of this academic pursuit. Graduate Plans The CEINT program introduced me to the broad applications of nanotechnology, and one avenue I am heavily considering post-graduation 2014 is applying for graduate programs with a focus on biomedical applications of nanotechnology, especially in cancer therapies and drug delivery.
Sydney Stewart
Rising SeniorChemical EngineeringMontana State University    CEINT Research Site: Weisner Lab, Duke University Over the summer I enjoyed working with the graduate students and faculty from Duke University. I feel more connected to the field of nanoscience, particularly the applications of nanotechnology and environmental impacts of nanoparticles. I learned a lot about the science of transport of contaminants in the environment just through presentations, trips, and conversations with other REU students. I enjoyed learning more about graduate school in general through working with a graduate student mentor. Overall, I feel I learned a lot about nanoscience and made valuable connections with graduate students, professors, and other undergraduate students. Career Impacts and Plans In this REU I made useful connections, learned how to better function in a lab, and how to think more like a scientist. I hope to volunteer short term with Engineers Without Borders, then work for 1-2 years as an environmental engineer. After learning more about the field, I'd like to go to graduate school for either a master's or PhD in environmental engineering with a focus on sustainable engineering for developing communities.
Ming Zhang
Rising Senior Civil and Environmental Engineering Carnegie Mellon University Research Site: CEREGE, Aix-en-Province, France Highlights of program I had an amazing time studying the fate of nanoparticles in wastewater treatment plants at the CEREGE site in Aix-En-Provence. I learned that the research process is rarely a straight line to the finish, but rather a path filled with mistakes and detours. I came to appreciate this aspect of doing science through others’ enthusiasm despite setbacks, as well as through my own experience of making mistakes. I also enjoyed taking a small project from start to finish to contribute to the goals of a larger research group. The sense of community at the CEREGE was very strong; everyone shared all the lab spaces in the building, and each day entire research teams go to lunch together. My greatest lesson from working at the CEREGE was perhaps that it is possible to balance work and play, and to still get the most from both. Career Impacts and Plans Participating in this REU program made me realize that I want to pursue a career that combines environmental research and international travel. To this end, I won a Fulbright Scholarship to study air pollution in Beijing, China for fall 2013. Fall 2014 I will enter UC Berkeley's MS/PhD program in Environmental Engineering fall 2014. I hope that my work will not only help improve our environment, but also take me to experience new cultures and lifestyles. This REU experience made my dreams and career goals more concrete, and I will always be thankful for my summer at Duke and the CEREGE.
Orion Pearce
Rising Senior Chemistry Beloit College CEINT Research Site: Liu Lab, Duke University CEINT was my first chance to become involved in a serious research endeavor, and served as a great springboard into chemical research. While working in Dr. Liu's lab I gained valuable training, getting to synthesize nanocrystals, use aqua regia, and work in Duke's excellent SMIF facility with the TEM. It was highly gratifying to obtain results after having studied and worked for weeks to get a specific crystalline morphology. CEINT also was a great opportunity to make friends and contacts who had similar interests. From cookouts prepared by the interns to the weekly lab meetings with my research group, CEINT was full of great opportunities to meet fellow researchers. Career Impacts and Plans The people I met at Duke helped me get into a graduate school and provided valuable advice on my career as a researcher. I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in learning more about nanochemistry and starting a serious research career. Graduate school plans: Begin graduate school fall 2013-Chemistry Department, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Alex Simon
Rising SeniorVirginia TechCEINT Research Site: Meyer Lab, Duke UniversityProjects Title: Investigating  Nanoparticle Toxicity using Caenorhabditis elegans Participating in the CEINT REU provided me with an opportunity to not only further my experience conducting nanoparticle research but to also get a new perspective on the potential implications of nanotechnology.  I enjoyed meeting new people and listening to them discuss how they progressed with their own research helped me to formulate my own research goals more appropriately- an experience which will surely help me in the future.  The laboratory research and presentation experience provided through CEINT will certainly help me as I adjust to graduate research in my future.  I was glad to meet fellow undergraduates as well as graduates and professors, get a feel for a university I was interested in attending for graduate school, and gain more experience working in a field I love. Career Impacts and Plans This REU encouraged me further to pursue nanotechnology as a particular interest for future research in grad school.  Having this internship probably contributed to my being awarded the Ryan Fellowship for exploration in nanoscience at Northwestern, the university which I am attending for graduate school.  This summer I will begin work at Northwestern early and hope to evaluate my options for future research as I begin my graduate research- possibly in nanotechnology.
Mesocosms as a teaching site
CEINT Director Mark Wiesner and lead mesocosm architect Benjamin Espinasse survey the automatic continual redox probe installation.
Mesocosms as a research site
Ecotoxicology researchers from Duke getting some surface water samples from a mesocosm box. While many environmental variables are continuously monitored throughout the year, discreete measurements are still needed for a number of other variables.
Mesocosms as a research site
A student from Duke obtaining a sediment sample from a mesocosm box.
Covered mesocosms
We built a giant, removable greenhouse to protect the entire mesocosm site during the raining and freezing season while still allowing researchers to collect data.
Alice Wang
Rising Junior Chemical/Environmental Engineering University of Southern California CEINT Research Site: Marr Lab, Virginia Tech University The atmosphere of the CEINT REU program was an excellent learning environment for me to grow as a researcher. I was fortunate to work with brilliant mentors at Virginia Tech, each of whom were supportive and knowledgeable. I enjoyed exploring interdisciplinary projects amongst my research team where I became acquainted with a variety of nanotechnology issues in our air. This exposure sprouted my desire to learn more, granting me independent research on the side from my faculty mentor. Taking initiative to design the project from start to finish, I was able to challenge myself and sharpen my creativity, patience, and persistence. This unique opportunity, along with my outdoor expeditions with new friends, made the entire program valuable and memorable to me. The skills that I have acquired during those ten weeks will transport and carry with me into my future career. Career Impact and Plans The multiple CEINT faculty research presentations and EPA tour reaffirmed my passion towards resolving environmental pollution and toxicity issues in our society. My two research projects, one applicable to developed countries and the other to those developing, inspired me to think critically about combating environmental implications on a global scale. That is my aspired career goal. I plan to continue working in research and pursue a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering. Perhaps I will concentrate my studies in nanotechnology, or even conduct experiments in mesocosms in the near future.
Eleanor Spielman-Sun
Senior Chemistry Oberlin CollegeCEINT Research Site: Lowry Lab, Carnegie Mellon University Being a student from a small liberal arts college, the CEINT REU program at Carnegie Mellon gave me an opportunity to work at a large, research-based university. It was great to be able to interact with a diverse lab group where everyone had a variety of backgrounds and strengths. The experience definitely reinforced my plans to attend graduate school. Career Impacts and Plans CEINT has had a significant impact on my field of interest. Though I've always been interested in environmental science, after my summer at Carnegie Mellon I've decided to apply to environmental engineering programs for graduate school.
Michelle Laura Zeliph
Rising Senior Biology Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute CEINT Research Site: Bernhardt Lab, Duke University Participating in the CEINT REU program this summer taught me not only about the environmental implications of nanotechnology, but also about the challenges and rewards of collaborative research. This summer I got to work alongside several researchers with a variety of expertise and learned a great deal from each of them. I also had the opportunity to learn about several other research projects going on at CEINT through the other interns in the program. Living at Duke for the summer with the other interns allowed me to not only meet individuals from colleges across the country, but form lasting friendships and professional networks. I know that this experience has certainly opened doors for me and I am looking forward to the future opportunities this program may allow me to pursue. Career Impacts and Plans Participating in the CEINT REU program this summer strengthened my passion for research and influenced my decision to apply to graduate school. I am currently applying to environmental microbiology programs and hope to begin my doctoral studies in Fall 2014.
Matt Sweeney
Rising Sophomore Chemical Engineering University of Maryland, Baltimore County CEINT Research Site: Wiesner Lab, Duke University CEINT gave me my first opportunity to perform research. The experience allowed me to discover what researching as an engineer entails. Discovering the range of applications nanotechnology can be used in was incredible and seeing how all of the individual projects the REU students worked on fit together and could be applicable to the others allowed me to further my interest in nanotechnology. Also, the environment of the lab made me feel as though I was living a true graduate school lifestyle. Every member of the lab was interested in the research and was helpful in giving criticism or possible changes to improve the results, which helped the project come together and allow me to get to know all of the people working in the lab. Career Impacts and Plans CEINT helped me decide that I do want to perform research as a career. Since I am only a rising sophomore, I will continue to look into more REU programs that involve nanotechnology. My long term goals are to earn a PhD in chemical engineering and perform research. I am currently looking into research in the fields of nanotechnology and alternative energy.
Elizabeth Mohr
Rising Junior Chemical Engineering and Environmental Earth Science Washington University in St. Louis CEINT Research Site: CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France The CEINT REU Program was an extraodinary way to get exposure to the lifestyle of a laboratory researcher. It was so rewarding to be able to delve into such a specific and interesting area of study, and to work on a project with important environmental implications. I also very much enjoyed witnessing the immensely interdiscplinary nature of the research being done by CEINT, and meeting highly talented professionals and peers along the way. Lastly, living and working in France was a truly incredible and valuable cultural experience that I am so fortunate to have had. Career Impacts and Plans The experiences I had during the CEINT REU program furthered my desire to attend graduate school, and also solidified my interest in research and careers with an environmental focus. I think the program has also provided me with a set of tools that will aid me in any future studies or careers I choose to pursue.
Jasper Sia
Rising Junior Chemical Engineering & Mathematics University of Arizona CEINT Research Site: Gunsch Lab, Duke University In addition to the opportunity to work with frontier research on nanotechnology, developing relationships with the affiliates of CEINT was an integral part in my CEINT REU experience. In their busy schedules, my professor and graduate student invested on me their breadth of knowledge and time; they taught me the essentials and encouraged me to contemplate the reasons behind the nanoparticle experiments and procedures and to improve upon them. The weekly meetings and the people involved in them remind me of CEINT’s overarching objective and of how my seemingly small project is important to accomplish this multilayered collaborative goal. Between the CEINT REUs, we share with each other our exciting events and encourage each other during our discouraging days, both always present in research. The people are great, and I am truly thankful to be part of such an amazing experience.
Denise Lee
Rising Sophomore Biochemistry & Cell Biology Rice University CEINT Research Site: CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France Having the privilege of working at the CEREGE this summer through the CEINT REU allowed me to mature both as a scientist and as a person. Being able to work in an international setting was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that opened my eyes to how different cultures live, work, and play. My project taught me how to communicate well with other scientists, honed my critical thinking skills, and how to think about the world of research in an international, interdisciplinary context. Perhaps most important of all, however, the CEINT REU granted me patience and humbleness in the pursuit of knowledge – a rare gift that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Career Impact and Plans The CEINT REU helped cultivate my love for research and science, and going overseas also helped me realize my desire to think, work, and serve in a global context. I hope to somehow incorporate all of these things into a medical career in the future (MD + research track, MD/PhD, etc.) For the summer of 2014, I hope to split my time in between traveling independently, engaging in international service fellowships, and continuing to work on cancer research here in Houston.
Amulya Pervaje
Chemical Engineering Major Vanderbilt University CEINT Research Site: Vikesland Lab, Virginia Tech I really enjoyed my lab experience in the summer. I learned to use the AFM really well. Also, previously I had never had actual lab work experience, so I was nice to get that over the summer. The graduate student I worked, Ron Kent was super nice and helpful and showed me the ropes in the experiments I was conducting. I enjoyed seeing two experiments to completion, from collecting data to analyzing the results. Outside the lab, it was nice to interact with wonderful, smart, capable individuals in the program or working for CEINT. Hearing the lectures in orientation and seeing everyone’s presentation at the end highlighted to me the wonderful research going on at CEINT and I felt lucky to be a part of it. Career Impacts and Plans I'm in the process of applying to jobs and graduate schools. I think the CEINT REU experience is definitely an asset to my resume and research experience. It's something I can talk about in my application or at an interview. It was really good hands-on research experience. I shall treasure the experience I had at CEINT REU.
Margaret Fleming
Rising Senior Environmental Engineering Cornell University CEINT Research Site: Wiesner Lab, Duke University The CEINT REU program offers a unique opportunity to learn and work amongst supportive and knowledgeable individuals, each with a passion for research. The highlight of my experience was collaborating with students, mentors, and professors from a variety of disciplines in order to reach a better understanding of how manufactured nanomaterials interact with natural systems. Working on my own project and getting to use instruments such as the scanning electron microscope and the transmission electron microscope to characterize BisBAL nanoparticles was stimulating and enlightening work. However, what makes CEINT so special is the time taken through both guest lectures and peer presentations to put each of our projects into context and see the ways in which our work connects to the overarching CEINT mission. Career Impacts and Plans Before participating in the CEINT REU program, I was uncertain about the path I would pursue after I graduate. Due in part to my amazing experience in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Duke University, I now know that I want to continue working in research. I plan on pursuing a PhD in environmental engineering and am currently exploring options for graduate school.
Marika Nell
Rising Senior Civil & Environmental Engineering University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign CEINT Research Site: Hsu-Kim Lab, Duke University Before I participated in the CEINT REU, I knew very little about nanotechnology. So, for me, the main highlight of the REU program was the chance to learn about nanotechnology and get hands-on experience with ongoing research. Between seminars, lab tours, and the opportunity to meet with a wide variety of students, scholars, faculty and staff, the program exposed me to the many facets of current nanotechnology research and I developed a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Through my day-to-day work, I gained valuable experience with laboratory equipment and improved my laboratory habits and skills. In addition, getting to know the people at CEINT and Duke University was another major highlight of the program. Everyone I encountered in my time at the program was friendly and helpful. In lab, the professor, postdoctoral scientists, and graduate students that I worked with were extremely supportive and encouraged me to maintain a good work-life balance throughout the course of the summer. Between the cutting edge research, plentiful learning opportunities, and the talented and friendly people, the CEINT REU was the perfect setting for expanding my knowledge of nanotechnology and research. Career Impacts and Plans Overall, this research experience reaffirmed my desire to pursue my PhD. I am currently applying to graduate programs in Civil & Environmental Engineering and will hopefully pursue research in using nanotechnology for environmental remediation in the future. Experiencing the culture of a Civil & Environmental Engineering that is different from the one at my home institution has helped me figure out what I am looking for in prospective graduate schools. Since I enjoyed the culture at my CEINT REU site, I am considering applying to Duke University. Hearing about the work, career paths, and backgrounds of the diverse group of people at CEINT has been extremely helpful in figuring out my post-graduation and career plans. Ultimately, I would like to stay in academia and work on developing viable remediation technologies for emerging contaminants.
Eric Ryberg
Rising Junior Chemistry/Earth and Planetary Sciences Johns Hopkins University CEINT Research Site: DiGuilio Lab – Duke University Participating in the CEINT REU program was a wonderful experience. The most eye-opening part of this experience was seeing how each piece of research fit into the larger breadth of knowledge that CEINT was pioneering. We each had the opportunity to see how our specific role fit into our lab’s research projects, and how those together fit into the big picture, all of which we learned about during our orientation. To see your own research pushes the boundaries of what you learned in class is truly something special. Outside of work, living with other highly motivated students was indescribable. I have never experienced such intellectually rewarding conversation in a casual setting before. Career Impact and Plans The CEINT REU helped me realize how much I appreciate environmental research. After finishing my undergraduate degrees, I hope to pursue a PhD in paleoclimatology. Until CEINT, I was switching between career choices, but now I have decided to continue my environmental studies into a graduate program.
Toxicity of Ag to aquatic plants drives Ag fate
TiO2 NP Photocatalyzed Degradation of Benzo(a)pyrene
Nanocomposite Foams
Nanoparticle Impacts of Wastewater Microbial Functions and Communities
Tracking and characterizing cerium from a commercial diesel additive to exhaust to simulated environments
How fresh water facilities remove metals from drinking water: Seeking the mechanism at the nanoscale
Nanoparticles as a sink for emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) in the Yangtze Estuary, China
Effects of natural organic matter properties on the dissolution kinetics of ZnO NPs
CEINT Creates New Middle School Student Engineers Network - Strengthening Opportunities in Research (SENSOR) Saturday Academy
2008-14 CEINT Impacts Educational Infrastructure
Effect of Shape on Toxicity of AgNps
Modeling Nanosilver Transformations in Sediments
Measuring Bioavailability of Ag Nanoparticles in Plants with X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic (XAS) imaging
Sulfidation is a Key Environmental Fate Process for ZnO, CuO, and Ag Nanoparticles
Properties of Natural Organic Matter that Govern Its Effects on Gold Nanoparticle Aggregation
Exposure to and Transormations of Nanomaterials in Air
Environmental fate and transport of CeO2 nanoparticles in stream mesocosms
Toxicity of Ag Nanoparticles in from Dissolved Ag Species for four Test Organisms
Biological and Chemical Responses of Egeria densa to Acute and Chronic Doses of Nanosilver
Influence of coating, sewage sludge amendment and aging on fate of Ag NPs in soil
Raman Based Tracking of Gold Nanoparticle Aggregation and Transport
"Green" Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles: Mechanistic Studies and Life Cycle Assessment
Heterogeneous Attachment Efficiency: Batch measurements in environmental matrices
Nanoparticle Uptake Pathway Identification and Characterization in Plant Cells
Importance of a Nanoscience Approach in the Understanding of Major Aqueous Contaminations Scenarios: Case Study from a Recent Coal Ash Spill
Bioavailabilty of Nanoparticles in Environmentally-Relevant Exposure Scenarios
Partitioning of U(VI) between ferrihydrite and humic substances
Hydrology and sediment transport dominate reactive metallic nanoparticle fate in rivers
Effect of UV on AgNP toxicity in zebrafish embryos
Disruption of Cell-to-Cell Signaling in Bacteria
CeO2 Nanoparticle Impacts on Wastewater Microbial Communities
Passive Samplers for Dissolved Metal Analysis: What is the Influence of Nanoparticles
Effects of natural organic matter on the dissolution, aggregation and uptake kinetics of CuO NPs
Impacts of Educational Infrastructure 2008-15
CEINT: Value Added Center Impacts
Correlation of the Properties of Fractionated Natural Organic Matter to Stabilization of Gold Nanoparticles Against Homoaggregation
Getting from Data to Knowledge in the CEINT NanoInformatics Knowledge Commons (NIKC)
Bioavailability of Silver and Silver Sulfide Nanoparticles to Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
Exposure to and Transformations of Nanomaterials in Air
Chronic AgNP additiona lead to higer long-term exposure
Impact of sulfidation on the bioavailability and toxicity of silver nanoparticles to Caenorhabditis elegans
A Method for Heterogeneous NP Attachment in Mixed Systems
NP Release from Commercial Wood Products
Juan Avila
Rising Junior Chemical Engineering Clemson University CEINT Research Site: Dr. Mark Wiesner’s Lab, Duke University Before starting my internship at CEINT, I had no research experience or knowledge on nanotechnology. Through workshops, talks, and exposure to the topic I was able to gain a broad background on the research that CEINT carries out. After the first week of orientation, you truly begin to feel like you are contributing to research that is currently pushing the frontiers of environmental nanotechnology. I was matched with a great research mentor dedicated to educating me about the topic I was investigating. By the end of the program, I had gained a vast amount of knowledge on nanotechnology and made meaningful connections with the researchers in the program. The program also develops strong bonds among its interns and provides opportunities to meet the students in other REU’s. Spending the summer doing research with CEINT has also fueled my interest in research. I was able to learn relevant laboratory and data analysis techniques, common research practices, and how to correctly follow lab safety protocols. I have been able to apply all of these to the research I am doing in my home institution. Career Impacts After the summer, I returned to my home university and began searching for research in nanotechnology. I was able to find a project in the chemical engineering department that was very relatable to what I did over the summer. After explaining my work with CEINT over the summer, the primary investigator was ecstatic to assign me to his lab. I have used much of the knowledge about nanoparticles and my lab experience that I gained through the program to significantly contribute to my current research.
Claire Huang
Rising Junior Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Columbia University CEINT Research Site: Lab of Dr. David Hinton and Melissa Chernick, Duke University I am extremely grateful that CEINT was my first REU program. Having worked in several labs but never on a project I could truly call my own, I found myself growing as a research-oriented thinker each step along the way of the research project. Honestly, what I value most about my summer with CEINT are the connections and friendships I made with my fellow interns, the mentors and the other faculty. Everyone came from unique and diverse educational, geographic and cultural backgrounds, yet we were all united by our passion for science - there were definitely more than plenty nanotechnology jokes made throughout the summer. It’s a rewarding feeling to come home after a long day at the lab and to be able to chat about my research with people who would not only listen to my lab stories but were also truly engaged and interested. All in all, the REU program was an educational experience both inside and out of the lab. I also appreciate all the time taken by the mentors in developing our knowledge of nanotechnology from all aspects. It was an honor to work with the experts and pioneers in the nanotechnology field. I would especially like to give a shout out to my mentors Melissa and Dr. Hinton in the Hinton Lab, who were very supportive throughout the whole summer and taught me more lab skills and about independent research than I could ever learn from a classroom setting. They created a lab family that I would love to emulate for future research settings. Career Impacts My research project at CEINT has helped me focus my interests within the interdisciplinary field of environmental biology. Toxicology and materials science may not be the exact paths for me to pursue, but I am definitely interested in what the fields have to offer. Though I plan to apply to graduate school programs, I am reconsidering a future in academia and may choose to apply my research more directly through other types of field research-based organizations (for example, Fish and Wildlife Service or Wildlife Conservation Society).
Elaine Hung
Rising Senior Environmental EngineeringTexas Tech University CEINT Research Site: Dr. Heileen Hsu-Kim’s lab, Duke University Being part of CEINT was a rewarding experience by providing me with an unforgettable experience. Through CEINT, I was able to delve deeper in my research area at my home university and was able to see a point of view from another perspective. I was exposed to a wide range of research areas and I felt I was treated as a graduate student with deadlines and responsibilities. Partaking in CEINT, I was provided with a world-class research opportunity and a network of connections that will last a lifetime. I think the way CEINT impacted me the most was building connections with fellow REU peers, researchers, and professors. Each REU student had a separate research focus and each of us had obstacles and frustrations I think that connected all of us because we were able to relate to one another. Career impacts CEINT impacted me because I was surrounded by a multitude of post-doctoral candidates that all came from different backgrounds. Surrounded by researchers, I think continuing with research is something I would like to pursue because it is a constant challenge filled with obstacles and questions.
Stephanie Kong
Rising Senior Chemical Engineering SUNY University at Buffalo CEINT Research Site: Dr. Robert Tilton’s lab, Carnegie Mellon University My summer at CEINT is one experience I'll never forget. CEINT gave me the chance to interact with top researchers and truly refine my skills in scientific research. Through this program and the funding provided by NSF, I was able to explore research topics outside of what was being offered at my home university. At Carnegie Mellon University I developed an experimental method for tracking the environmental fate of silver nanoparticles and their surface interactions with humic substances. Career Impacts My memories in the Tilton lab and my experiences at CMU have cemented my interest in promoting novel nanoscience with environmental conscience. I will be graduating from the University at Buffalo in the spring and thereafter attending graduate school for my doctorate in chemical engineering.
Kiana Morse
Rising Senior Environmental Resources Engineering SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry CEINT Research Site: Dr. Kelvin Gregory’s lab, Carnegie Mellon University Prior to my CEINT experience I did not have any significant lab background. Working in the lab at Carnegie Mellon showed me what the research world is all about and gave me valuable hands-on experience. Aside from lab work, I was also exposed to many other research projects and presentations. Working in the biology lab also deepened my understanding of chemical and biological concepts. I now have firm grasp on how to succeed in the graduate world. Career Impacts When applying for jobs, this experience will be a great asset to my resume. Additionally, this program has strengthened my self-discipline and ability to problem solve. I have had the fortune of meeting many great individuals at Carnegie Mellon and Duke University who are dedicated to my success. This summer was a great learning experience that opened my eyes to the multitude of career paths that are available to me as I move forward in my professional career.
Athena Nghiem
Rising Senior Geophysics and Statistics University of California, Berkeley CEINT Research Site: Dr. Mélanie Auffan’s Lab, the CEREGE, Aix-en-Province, France Through the CEINT REU, I had the opportunity to work with international research scientists and learn laboratory instrumentation protocol for nanoparticle characterizations while refining my French vocabulary. Actively participating in the global and multidisciplinary nature of nanotechnology research at CEREGE in Aix-en-Provence, France was an unforgettable experience. From being flexible and persistent in adapting experimentation to adapting another culture, I was greatly motivated not only by the environmental impacts of nanotechnology research on EU industry policies and but also all my mentors, from research scientists to post-docs to fellow students, who supported that supported me in my scientific endeavors abroad. Career impacts and plans As result of this REU experience, I know that I can thrive in a research-intensive environment. Moreover, I also know understanding the direct impacts of research is critical, which has lead me to graduate programs that have focus on environmental impacts of research, whether through nanotechnology or aqueous geochemistry, on society. I also aim to pursue a career that will hope to mentor future budding scientists as well.
Catherine Ninah
Rising Junior Industrial Engineering University of Central Florida CEINT Research Site: Lab of Dr. Mark Wiesner and Dr. Christine Hendren, Duke University Spending the summer in Durham, North Carolina, where I first started my day passing through the Duke Gardens on the way to work and then entered the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, an innovative, cross-disciplinary, and world-renowned research site focused on the impact and characteristics of all types of nanoparticles on the environment, I can undoubtedly say that this was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget. I had no background in nanotechnology but through seminars, presentations, lab tours, firsthand research experience, and discussions, I was able to not only learn about this exciting and rapidly growing field but also contribute to the field through my research project and the writing of a manuscript. I shared this experience with similarly goal-oriented peers who were incredibly intelligent, friendly, helpful, and always up for a weekend adventure in North Carolina! I really enjoyed the thrill of creating new knowledge in this field. I was able to have input in designing and scoping my project from beginning to end and used an approach that is the first of its kind in the world to model the release of nanoparticles into environmental compartments. I had great mentorship as we were able to systematically create and implement a new methodology to address a challenging area to completion in ten weeks. After leaving my meetings with Dr. Hendren, I always felt energized and excited for what we would accomplish in the upcoming week. I most recently shared the findings of my summer project at the Research Symposium to the National Science Foundation program directors outside of Washington, DC. Career Impacts From my CEINT REU, I learned that I could apply Industrial Engineering concepts to address environmental impacts. In the fall, I began conducting environmental engineering research at my home university through a collaboration I helped form between the Industrial Engineering Department and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. This REU was the first time that I worked in a research position full-time and the first time that I was exposed to what life as a professor and research is like. I am now planning to attend graduate school where I will focus on modeling these areas. I am pursuing a career in academia where I can both teach students and conduct research while mentoring future researchers. I plan to be the first person in my family to attend graduate school.
Aleksander Felipe Piasecki
Rising Junior Chemical Engineering Pennsylvania State University CEINT Research Site: Dr. Mark Wiesner’s lab, Duke University Participating in the CEINT 2015 REU at Duke University was a great experience. Not only was I able to get really involved in interesting new research, which was related yet distinct from the research I do at my current university, but I was surrounded by a good diverse group of friends in the REU. We certainly helped each other academically and with our research, but we were able to bond and have a good summer together as well. I had a great time at Duke, and the REU provided interesting research, on top of a friendly a good environment where I was able to have fun. Career Impacts CEINT solidified my conviction to attend graduate school. I am certainly interested in the area of nanotechnology, as this is what I do in my current lab as well. I have decided that nanoparticles specifically are not my desired area, but nanomaterial synthesis is. I definitely plan to expand on these interests, in part due to CEINT.
Michael Reinisch
Rising Senior Physics and Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas CEINT REU Site: Dr. Linsey Marr’s lab, Virginia Tech University My future career interests lie in inventing and applying technology in developing countries, and my previous research experience in the field only covers water and solar technologies. The project I worked on at Virginia Tech was very useful by covering air pollution, a serious topic in developing countries I have not previously been involved with.. It was a wonderful experience to get to know the other REU students who have similar interests as I do. Career Impacts The CEINT REU also marks my first project that can be considered environmental engineering and will be helpful when I apply for environmental engineering graduate programs this year. Because this summer was the last summer before many of us would graduate, it was interesting to see the paths that other students are taking to reach similar goals as I do.
Nicholas Rogers
Senior Chemical Engineering University of Maryland Baltimore County CEINT Research Site: Dr. Gregory Lowry’s lab, Carnegie Mellon University The CEINT REU was my first research experience away from my home university. Inherently, this program gave me the chance to see how some of the top universities in my field work in regard to research. Looking to apply to graduate schools for the next academic year, this internship also gave me the chance to network with professors from two prospective graduate schools and interact with their lab groups. Regarding the research itself, I was able to explore another research area that I had not considered before and expand my knowledge in the environmental engineering field. Beyond that, I got to get to know the other students in the program, who have since become outstanding friends and colleagues. Career Impacts CEINT has helped me to expose me to many different research areas, and has helped me to meet many professors who are experts in these fields. My research has opened up numerous networking opportunities, which includes a presentation in Washington D.C. at the National Science Foundation. Overall though, this internship has helped to identify more research interests that I have, which will be very helpful moving toward graduate school.
Maggie Swerdloff
Rising Junior Biochemistry / French New College of Florida CEINT Research Site: Labs of Dr. Mélanie Auffan, Dr. Samuel Legros and Dr. Lorette Scifo CEREGE, Aix-en-Province, France I absolutely loved living in France and working at the CEREGE this past summer. The CEREGE is truly an international research institution, with many grad students and research scientists from institutions outside of France. Lab research was primarily conducted in English, but I enjoyed learning the French terms for the instruments and having lunch every day with the lab members. We spoke and taught each other French as we enjoyed many dishes typical of the southern region. One of the best parts of learning and working in France was being able to collaborate with the researchers in the lab and see how such a variety of diverse perspectives contributed to the overall goals of CEINT. Learning the researchers' philosophies and experimentation strategies was especially eye-opening as this was my first in-lab research experience. It was rewarding to know that the studies I worked on contributed directly to create environmentally sustainable nanotechnology. Career Impacts The CEINT internship broadened my horizons in more ways than I could have imagined. I started this internship with fundamental knowledge of what nanoparticles are from a physical-chemistry perspective, as well an understanding of environmental studies from previous field-work. This internship was a beautiful blend of the two fields and really opened up my mind to the power of such interdisciplinary research. As a result of this CEINT internship, I plan to continue research in this context as a PhD at institutions in the US and abroad!
Brianna Thornton
Rising Junior Chemical Engineering, Tuskegee University CEINT Research Site: Dr. Emily Bernhardt and Dr. Benjamin Colman’s Lab, Duke University My summer with CEINT was the most influential summer I’ve experienced so far. Being far from home for that amount of time was intimidating, but the mentors as well as the other REU students were warming and helpful. The atmosphere of Duke University and the city of Durham was so warm and inviting that I honestly was not ready to return home once the time came. I have made life-long friends and formed relationships with others from around the country that I would never have met without being in this program. I truly treasure my experiences and time with CEINT. Career Impacts The knowledge I’ve gained about the world of nanotechnology has truly opened my eyes. Before this summer, I had no experience in that field. Now, thanks to my summer experience, I plan to apply to environmental engineering programs that involve nanotechnology for graduate school.
Jonathan Vardner
Rising Senior Chemical Engineering Worcester Polytechnic Institute CEINT Research Site: Dr. Mark Wiesner’s lab, Duke University The CEINT REU program offered me the opportunity to engage in an original research project pertaining to the use of membranes for water treatment. I worked with a professor and graduate student, each of whom encouraged me to think critically, work independently, and make significant contributions in the lab. Alongside research, CEINT organized guest lectures, group meetings, and a tour of the EPA. From these events, I gained perspective on the role of my research in CEINT’s long-term goals. I had a great experience as an REU student with CEINT, and I feel very fortunate to have participated in this program. Career Impacts CEINT reinforced my passion for research and reaffirmed my decision to pursue graduate school. Over the summer, I learned the undertakings of a doctoral candidate, and therefore, I feel prepared to attend graduate school after participating in this program. Furthermore, graduate and postdoctoral students shared their experiences and offered me advice to succeed as a researcher. The CEINT REU program helped to shape my path for graduate school and had a profound impact on my ambitions in life.
Rachel Warnock
Rising Senior Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech CEINT Research Sites: Dr. Mark Wiesner and Dr. Ben Colman’s labs, Duke University The CEINT REU program allowed me to experience research at the intersection of life sciences and nanoscience. Investigating implications of nanotechnology in realistic environmental settings awoke a passion for research that extends beyond “knowledge for knowledge’s sake.” Although my project focused on the specific area of plant uptake of nanoparticles, the coordinators of this REU made it a priority to teach us about other projects and focuses within the CEINT program. In addition to a weeklong orientation included lectures from many distinguished researchers, interns met with mentors for coffee every week to discuss problems, goals and plans. These efforts fostered an environment that allowed exploration in all areas and a high level of collaboration. The mentors of the CEINT program were a substantial piece of what made this experience successful. I worked directly with an amazing graduate student, who showed me an accurate depiction of everyday life in graduate school, which was an invaluable experience. Overall, I would not trade my personal growth in research and communication skills, or the connections and friendships made during this program for the world! Career impacts This research experience has exposed me to a variety of options within the fields of life science and nanoscience. It showed me a glimpse of what life as a graduate student will look like, but also provided several other career options. For example, touring the EPA in Research Triangle Park showed an applicable career option in nanotechnology and the environment. Currently, I am considering graduate school or working in consulting after graduation. I plan to pursue my PhD, but am still exploring my options for the near future.
Amy Whetter
Rising Junior Physics and Environmental Science University of Redlands CEINT Research Site: Dr. Peter Vikesland’s lab, Virginia Tech University Participating in the CEINT summer REU program was a great experience. A huge factor that made my experience positive was the network of support. I was fortunate to work with an incredible grad student who was a great mentor throughout the program. The entire lab at Virginia Tech made we feel welcome and there to answer any question I had, but was also there to push me and help me grow. Another one of my favorite thing about the summer is just how much I learned. Career Impacts and Plans Attending a small liberal arts school I don’t have an engineering program at my school, working at Virginia Tech gave me first hand experience in this field. After participating in the CEINT REU program I have confirmed that I want to do go grad school in environmental engineering.