Myat Thandar Aung (MS/PhD) Myat grew up in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), where she completed high school with a science concentration. In 2008, for political reasons, she and her family had to leave Yangon for Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand, where she stayed for two years spending most of her time studying and teaching English. She earned her GED, and was granted a full scholarship to study at Mahidol University International College in Bangkok, Thailand. She graduated from Mahidol in 2015 with a BS in Environmental Science and Technology. Since December 2015 Myat has worked with Aqueous Solutions on various WaSH research and service projects with communities in northern Thailand, Eastern and central Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.
Temitope (Temi) Ibitoye is originally from Bowie, MD which is right outside of Washington D.C. She graduated in May 2019 with a BS in Chemical Engineering with a focus in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability from University of Maryland Baltimore County. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in the fields of environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, and humanitarian engineering. She loves traveling, she’s been to over 10 countries! She also loves going to church, and spending time with friends and family. She is currently working on developing a low-cost, effective method for quantification of arsenic in groundwater.
Maggie Thompson (MS) Maggie graduated in May 2018 with a BS in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Soil Science from NC State. As an undergrad she conducted soil chemistry research with the Crop & Soil Science Department to determine mechanisms by which various polymers sorb to soil surfaces. Fieldwork and travel are among her passions and she believes chemistry is the coolest science! She’s originally from Greensboro NC and spent most of her childhood outside enjoying nature. She was active with the Girl Scouts from the age of 6 until high school graduation, and earned a Gold Award for organizing a local community stream restoration. Her involvement with the Girl Scouts sparked an interest in STEM and environmental stewardship. As an MS student, Maggie is studying sorption process for control of fluoride and arsenic in groundwater.
Michaela Bate Michaela is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Civil Engineering with a concentration in Water Resources and a double major in Spanish. She expects to graduate in December 2020. She is passionate about both her majors and hopes to combine them in her future career, working towards better sanitation and drinking water resources in developing countries. She loves to travel and learn how the world works. She grew up in Greensboro, NC and has traveled to Peru, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, where she was confronted with the harsh realities that people face in developing nations. In 2018 she led an Alternative Service Break trip to Nicaragua where her team collected stream flow data, cataloged macroinvertebrate population in the stream, and soil infiltration speed for a local non-profit. As a BS student, she assists graduate students in the lab with their projects and gaining a background in WaSH research to support her future endeavors.
Janhavi Kulkarni graduated with an MS Environmental Engineering at NC State in May, 2019, and is entering the WaSH field as a professional engineer. Over summer 2018 she worked with our lab and Dr. Meththika Vithanage at University of Sri Jayewardenepura to develop a system for producing biochar adsorbent from municipal solid waste at dump sites in Sri Lanka. Her first placement after graduating was in the wastewater engineering division with Weston and Sampson in Portsmouth, NH, USA.
Sarangi Madhavi is pursuing graduate studies under the direction of Dr. Meththika Vithanage at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. Her ongoing research project is titled,”Integrated Leachate Treatment System Using Sequential Treatment, Constructed Wetland and Biochar Embedded Barricades for Karadiyana Open Dump Site.” Sarangi spent summer 2018 as a visiting researcher at NC State as part of our international collaboration with University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
LAB RESEARCH SPECIALISTS
Natalia Soares Quinete received her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has worked as an acclaimed specialist in high resolution mass spectrometry in Germany and at Florida International University in Miami. Her research interests focus on assessing and understanding the sources, distribution, and fate of persistent organic pollutants and emerging contaminants in the different environmental and biological compartments and their potential health effects and risks to humans and animals, addressing concerns regarding water quality and changes in the environment. She joined NC State in July 2019 as a Research Scientist to work on the development and improvement of analytical methods for non-targeted analysis and the determination of perfluorinated chemicals and other contaminants of emerging concern in diverse environmental matrices.
FIELD RESEARCH AND SERVICE LEARNING COORDINATORS
[ SE Asia ]
Nathan (Nate) Reents holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from CU-Boulder and an MS in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech University. Nate has extensive experience in community water and sanitation systems — as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, through his work with US-AID and local NGOs in Bolivia, and for the past decade in rural Thailand and Burma. Nate is a core staff member at the Pun Pun Centre for Self-Reliance in northern Thailand, and serves as Director of Engineering for Aqueous Solutions.
Matthew Bentley is a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he studies low-cost water treatment in resource-limited scenarios. His research focuses on removing toxic organic contaminants from drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and landfill leachate. In addition to his work in water quality, Matt has experience working on interventions in air quality, environmental health, livelihoods security, and urban refugee resettlement. He is also a Research Partner at Yunnan Coffee Traders in Menglian, China, where he is engaged in research initiatives and interventions promoting Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) in remote communities and environmental sustainability throughout the coffee supply chain.
[ Mexico ]
Allie Reiling is a Water Engineer working as the Director of Technology at Caminos de Agua. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a BS in Civil Engineering and concentration in Leadership Studies. Her background includes water and wastewater projects in the Pacific Northwest of the US, water filtration and sourcing in Zambia, and work with women coffee farmers in Ecuador.
She currently oversees the technical branch of Caminos de Agua – focused on creating accesible solutions to water issues in Central Mexico through water quality testing services, development of Arsenic and Fluoride treatment solutions, and ceramic filter production and optimization.
Matthieu Carriere holds an Engineering degree from the Ecole Centrale in Paris, as well as a MS in Water and Sanitation for Development from Cranfield University, in the UK. In 2019, he took over Aaron Krupp’s position as the Research and Development Coordinator at Caminos de Agua in San Miguel de Allende. Matthieu conducts and oversees different projects: mitigation of arsenic and fluoride through sorption processes, arsenic quantification through electrochemistry, water quality in rain water harvesting projects, etc.
Matthieu conducted field work on Rain Water Harvesting applied to Managed Aquifer Recharge for fluoride remediation in Rajasthan India, worked as a field staff for the French NGO Passerelles Numériques wandering the Visayas Region of the Philippines and has been deeply involved with several Red Cross Societies as part of emergency relief services.
[ at large ]
Aaron Krupp holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Tech and previously coordinated the Research and Technology Development team at Caminos de Agua in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and is currently a graduate student at the University of Arizona. Aaron conducts research and development on water filtration media for arsenic and fluoride mitigation and process engineering for ceramic filter production.
As a Watson Fellow during 2015-2016, he worked on rural wheelchairs and biodegradable sanitary pads in India, taught magic with a circus in Kathmandu, worked as a research assistant in Australia on innovative desalination technologies, built biochar water treatment systems with communities in Sri Lanka and Burma, and studied the complex relationships between poverty and technology in East Africa.