LSU CEE Water Sustainability Project Takes Students to France

May 28, 2010

Hand holding glass sample bottle in waterBATON ROUGE, LA – Perrier isn’t the only water important to France. LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Samuel Snow recently received a National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $156,654 for a project that will take his students to France to research water treatment and reuse technologies.

The project is a collaborative effort between LSU and Michigan State University, with each university sending three students to France for nine weeks each summer between 2021 and 2023. While there, the students will engage in water science and engineering research with colleagues from the European Membrane Institute and University of Montpellier in Montpellier, France, one of the oldest universities in the world established in 1292.

“What we’re trying to do is give students an opportunity to engage with the faculty and research facilities in France who put a big emphasis on water reuse—treating water to the level where we can directly use it after it’s treated,” Snow said. “The students will use both membrane and photo-driven technologies, photo chemistry and membrane separation in order to produce cost-effective water treatment technologies.”

The two French universities focus heavily on water treatment and membrane technologies and have high-quality instrumentation and large-scale labs that will enable the students to learn more than they could from their schools in the United States. The students’ research will have multiple focal points, such as photo-catalyzed degradation of pharmaceuticals in hospital wastewater; novel UV-LED technology for photocatalytic wastewater treatment; photocatalytic membranes for inactivation of viruses; natural coagulants for water treatment; and human capacity building through global exchange activities.

“The projects are designed to accentuate questions regarding humanity’s relationship with water, adding a unique interdisciplinary quality to the program,” Snow said. “The ultimate goal is to foster global, technical and professional competencies in a diverse group of students. This experience will equip them with essential skills for success in the increasingly globalized world as they engage their knowledge and passions to address critical environmental challenges.”

Snow and his MSU counterpart will travel with the students to France and spend the first 10 days teaching and training them before they start on their projects. One experienced graduate student will accompany two undergrad students from both LSU and MSU.

Funding for Snow’s project begins in September 2020, which gives him nine months to prepare for the first trip.

“The timing worked out in that COVID-19 probably won’t affect our first trip next year,” he said. “This is my first federal grant, so I’m pretty excited about that. It’s an excellent opportunity for the students, and even myself, to grow from the projects we’ve been working on.”


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Contact: Libby Haydel

Communications Specialist