|Sarah Davis is an undergraduate student at Texas A&M University in her fourth year. She is pursuing a B.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering and a minor in Environmental Soil Science both of which are focused on soil and water. Her research project dealt with irrigation using waste-water effluent and the effect that the water has on the soil. She also currently works as an intern in the hydrology and hydraulics group at Lockwood, Andrews, & Newman, Inc. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in water resources engineering and one day work in a water management and water quality group.|
|Varun Gejji is a PhD student in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with a focus Bioprocess Engineering. He received his Bachelor of Technology in Biotechnology from University of Pune, India and worked on bio-separation processes for a start-up company before joining Texas A&M for graduate studies. His current work is focused on the development of a two phase system to selectively separate proteins from a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids present inside algae after the algal cells are broken down. This work has direct application in the food industry, for the development of therapeutic proteins. A part of his work will also focuses on dewatering algae and extracting lipids from it in a single step. The lipids extracted could be further processed and used for biodiesel production. He believe that, this technique if used on industrial scale can help reduce the total production. Varun is also the GTA for BAEN’s Senior Capstone Design course.|
|Brittany Hallmark is a M.S. Student in Civil Engineering with a focus in Environmental Engineering. She simultaneously received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in genetics from Iowa State University. She immediately came to Texas A&M to begin her master’s program and is currently working with Dr. Samuel Ma. Brittany’s research interests include soil quality and the impacts of different irrigation techniques. Through REU and SULI internships, Brittany has gained an extensive background in inorganic chemistry and nanoparticles, and she hopes to utilize this knowledge in her research to better understand soil organization, quality, and conservation.
|Muhammed Imran Kulat is a second year M.S. student at Texas A&M University pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering with a focus on Water Resources Engineering. He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Gazi University, Ankara (2013). While in Turkey, Muhammed worked as an engineer on Water Supply and Distribution and Concrete Implementation projects including support structures, pump and generation buildings. Through his internships and employment, Muhammed took part in large international projects of Turkey. Muhammed’s research interest is generally based on design of optimizing water allocation systems using a WEF Nexus Approach, and water distribution systems for agricultural and industrial purposes. He hopes first to work for a few years following his MSc to gain appropriate real life experience. His near future intents include a PhD study to specialize in applying innovative water-saving water management strategies, and finding solutions to water related issues, in Texas, his native Turkey, and globally.
|Sonja Loy is pursuing a M.S. in Biological and Agricultural engineering with a focus in Environmental and Natural Resources, where she also earned her B.S. (2016). Sonja is a Graduate Research Assistant for the water for food subgroup of the WEF Nexus San Antonio Case Study and researches the impacts of greywater irrigation on soil health, using the hydrostructural pedology methodology. Sonja’s research interests also extend to other non-traditional water uses, wastewater treatment processes, and urban agriculture. In her engineering endeavors, Sonja has had international (Mexico) and domestic experience in designing rainwater harvesting systems, on-site potable treatment with biosand filtration, greywater treatment, and green roofing. She served as a volunteer reporter at the Washington DC 2015 TAMUS/Future Earth WEF Nexus Workshop, and the 2016 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.|
|Ahmed M. Mroue is pursuing a M.Sc. in Energy, and holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the Lebanese American University in Byblos, Lebanon. After graduating, he worked as a Junior Energy Consultant for Free Renewable Electrical Energy s.a.r.l. in Beirut, taking part in renewable energy, and passive building design projects. Ahmed is now a Graduate Research Assistant for the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Initiative (WEFNI), and a contributor to the “Water for Energy” subgroup of WEFNI’s San Antonio Case Studies projects. His research interests include the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, and particularly the Water-Energy Nexus. Ahmed’s research interests also extend to renewable energy, sustainable buildings, energy systems engineering and optimization, energy economics and technology evolution. Ahmed also assisted with organization of the white papers at the recent NSF-NIFA-WEFNI Symposium FEW Nexus Workshop on Integrated Science, Engineering and Policy: A Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue.|
|Jordan Muell is a M.S. student studying Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University. He earned his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering, with a focus in Land and Water Resources and a minor in Sustainability, from Iowa State University in 2016. Jordan gained a background in Geographic Information Systems, surveying, and watershed modeling through independent study and internship experience. He conducted research on stream restoration as an REU student at Oklahoma State University and on woodchip bioreactors for water quality at Iowa State. Jordan is a Graduate Research Assistant investigating the Water-Energy Nexus, and is part of the Water-for-Energy subgroup of the WEF Nexus San Antonio Case Study. In the future, he aims to improve food and water resource sustainability, both nationally and globally, earning his PE license and practicing soil and water conservation engineering.|
|Tolu Omotoso holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Lagos, Nigeria (2009) and an M.S., Civil Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering, from Purdue University, USA (2012). He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Purdue. His research focuses on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus. His research, will attempt to contribute knowledge to nexus analyses and provide an understanding on how these technical inter-linkages interact in Nigeria. Rice production in the Bida-Badeggi Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ), Bida, and a proposed hydropower dam both in Niger State, will be used as a case study to devise sustainability scenarios based on data on water, energy and food. It is anticipated that the outcomes of the study will assist policy makers in Nigeria to understand the risks and opportunities of current policy strategies by pointing out trade-off options between water, energy and food.
|Mary Schweitzer joined the Nexus team as Program Manager in August 2014. She brings rich experience in international work and in administration. She came to Texas from Purdue University’s Global Engineering Program where she developed and enriched opportunities for international experiences in engagement, learning and research. Mary has organized numerous international meetings focused on agriculture development and resource management. With Mohtar, she helped develop global service learning opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and contributed substantially to diversity and inclusion opportunities for the international community at Purdue. Between 2000 and 2008, Mary worked with US and Middle East institutions and research groups facilitating sustainable cooperative research partnerships in agricultural science: organizing regional workshop and short courses. She has experience in administering peer review programs, public relations, and program development, including consideration of political factors that may impact program operations. Mary also has substantial experience in working with NGOs and in peace and human rights activism.|
|Man Yang is a MS student of Water Resource Management and Hydrological Science (WMHS). Her research interests include the water-food-energy nexus, particularly green hydropower infrastructure, sustainable and climate adaptive water resources management. Man has 8 years of environmental project management and policy advocacy experience. Before coming to A&M, she worked with several NGOs including ActionAid International, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In these organizations, she managed projects in fresh water conservation, sustainable hydropower, climate resilience and sustainable agriculture, and low carbon climate adaption projects. Man earned her M.A. in sustainable international development from the Heller School of Brandeis University (2012). During her PhD work, Man will examine optimal scientific solutions to help policy makers in identifying development decisions, resolve conflicts between increasing energy demands and degraded environment.|