News & Features

Five CAEE Graduate Students Receive NSF Fellowships

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June 15, 2020

Five students in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering were selected to receive Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Fellowship recipients were selected by disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientists and engineers and other professional graduate education experts.

Meet the 2020 recipients:

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Carolyn Cooper is an EWRE graduate student from Houston, Texas who is supervised by Professor Lynn Katz and Dr. Frank Seibert. She earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Anthropology at Rice University. Through internships and work experience in the oil and gas industry, Carolyn became interested in the field of water treatment. Carolyn recently completed her M.S. in Civil Engineering at UT and is excited to continue her work on oil-water separations while pursuing a PhD at UT.


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Areeb Hossain is an incoming master’s student from Austin, Texas. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at The University of Texas and will continue here for his masters in Environmental Engineering. His continuing research is focused on microplastic transport in water and water quality. He is supervised by professor Navid B. Saleh.


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Aubrey McCutchan graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University. She joined Dr. Blair Johnson’s research team at UT Austin in the fall of 2018 and recently completed an M.S. in Environmental and Water Resources engineering. Her research investigates the fluid mechanics of ice melting and she is excited to keep studying this topic during her Ph.D. studies. 


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Emma Palmer graduated from Duke University in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, a certificate in Global Development Engineering, and a minor in Chemistry. Emma's undergraduate research investigating heavy metal contamination in drinking water in the Peruvian Amazon and involvement in development efforts in rural Madagascar inspired her to delve deeper into the environmental engineering field. Last fall, she joined Dr. Mary Jo Kirisits' research team, and hopes to use her research and graduate degree to improve human health in low resource communities around the globe.

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Matthew Skiles is a graduate student from Madison, Wisconsin who completed his B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UW-Madison, where he contributed to wastewater treatment and aerosol research. Following graduation, he worked in the energy services industry serving commercial and oil and gas clients until joining Dr. Manish Kumar’s lab at UT-Austin in Fall 2019. Matt believes in the potential for membranes to alleviate pressing environmental issues and is excited to develop materials and processes for application in water treatment, water desalination, and carbon capture.