I’ll admit that I was a bit apprehensive about moving to Potsdam after I was accepted at Clarkson. I grew up in another country and I wasn’t sure whether I’d feel comfortable in such a different environment, but I immediately received a warm welcome (despite the cold temperatures) and I haven’t looked back since. Potsdam is definitely out of my comfort zone, but the sense of community that surrounds the town as well as the campus is really wonderful. Clarkson has become my home away from home.
When I was looking at colleges, Clarkson ranked as high as the other schools I was considering like Cornell, Columbia and Stanford. However, Clarkson really stood out when it came to helping me put my best foot forward during the application process. Once I was accepted, I was excited to become part of such a great institution – and forever a part of its solid alumni network.
I’m majoring in civil and environmental engineering. So far, my favorite class has been Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CE340), which is taught by my current research mentor, Dr. Shane Rogers. The irony is that I didn’t even get an A in the course, but Dr. Rogers’ innovative teaching style was really engaging. He made sure that every aspect of the course was applicable to something both in engineering as well as in our daily lives -- like exercise or the time it takes for gases like carbon monoxide to spread throughout a crowded room. Because of that real-life approach to the subject along with all of the guidance he’s given on my current research, I’m forever grateful.
I’m really excited about the research I’m working on, which is upgrading the design of anaerobic digesters for use on small-scale dairy farms. I’m working with Dr. Rogers and Dr. Stefan Grimberg on the project. Basically, what we’re trying to do is expose small farmers to the possibility of renewable energy that most of their larger or more commercial competitors are already able to access. In addition to that, the actual design of the digesters used on these farms can be modified for other purposes like fertilizer production, pathogen treatment and even solids extraction that could be used as animal bedding.
As for future plans, I’m currently considering pursuing a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering, but I’m not in a hurry. This degree field has so many different paths I could take that I know my future will be a bright one.