Environmental engineering PhD student wins UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Graduate Student Poster Competition

From left to right: Shambhu Upadhyaya, Associate Dean, Graduate Education and Research; Abdulrahman Hassaballah, environmental engineering PhD student; Liesl Folks, Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

From left to right: Shambhu Upadhyaya, Associate Dean, Graduate Education and Research; Abdulrahman Hassaballah, environmental engineering PhD student; Liesl Folks, Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

By Peter Murphy

Published May 9, 2018

Abdulrahman Hassaballah won first place for his research poster titled “Inactivation of E.Coli, Enterococcus spp. and somatic coliphage in secondary wastewater by peracetic acid (PAA), sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and ultraviolet (UV) light.”

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) poster competition featured thirteen students from the eight departments throughout the school. Hassaballah also earned second place in the Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Department’s graduate poster competition, which gave him the opportunity to participate in this larger contest. His research explores new disinfection technologies for water resource recovery facilities.

“Peracetic acid is not popular or well-known in wastewater industries. Its biggest advantage is that it is less harmful to aquatic life.” Hassaballah says. “I’m trying to see how PAA compares with traditionally used chlorine at removing pathogens or microorganisms that can indicate whether our water is polluted. This research will help managers make more informed decisions on how we treat our wastewater.”

Hassaballah came to UB during the previous academic year. In 2017, he received the Robert P. Apmann Memorial Award, given to outstanding first year graduate students in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering. He also won first prize in the poster competition at the New York Water Environment Association, Inc. (NYWEA) conference in New York City, and received second place in the department's poster competition last month.