News & Features

Sarah Keithley - AWWA Caldwell Scholarship

headshot of Sarah Keithley

Mar. 27, 2014

Environmental and water resources engineering Ph.D. student Sarah Keithley was selected to receive the 2014 American Water Works Association (AWWA) Dave Caldwell Scholarship. 

The scholarship was established in recognition of Brown and Caldwell co-founder Dave Caldwell, who made substantial contributions to engineering and technology in the drinking water field. One of his most notable achievements was the co-development of the Caldwell-Lawrence diagram, a classic water treatment tool. This scholarship has been established to benefit students pursuing an engineering degree in the drinking water field.

Sarah is supervised by Associate Professor Mary Jo Kirisits and her research focuses on biologically-active filters at drinking water treatment plants. Biofilters are often used in conjunction with ozone and can degrade trace organic compounds that might not be removed via conventional treatment.

Specifically, she interested in how the influent nutrient conditions affect the production of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) by bacteria in the filter, and in turn how the EPS affects headloss development. Recognizing the water-energy nexus, this research could suggest operational practices that would decrease backwash frequency and the associated energy demands.

She will receive the award at the annual AWWA conference in June 2014.