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Student Receives Frey Fellowship for Research Project

Amy Nguyen's project will examine how to create future renewable energy source through wastewater treatment.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 2-12-2015

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato student Amy Nguyen, a sophomore from Mankato, Minn., was recently awarded the University’s Anne and John Frey Climate Change & Sustainability Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

The Frey Fellowship encourages student interest in addressing climate change – its causes and symptoms – and exploring sustainable practices, including effects on the biota, carbon footprint reduction, and/or sustainable energy practices.

As a result of receiving the Frey Fellowship, Nguyen, who is majoring in civil engineering, will conduct a research project over the next year that is titled, “Renewable Energy by Methanogenesis through Anaerobic Digestion.”

She will present her findings at Minnesota State Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in spring 2016 as a condition of the Frey Fellowship.

The goal of her project “is to perfect the process of methanogenesis for both wastewater and high strength wastewater uses by creating a model that can be applied to our local wastewater treatment plant,” Nguyen said. “The success of this project will lead to the next stage of creating a new energy resource in the future derived from methane produced from anaerobic digestion.”

Nguyen said she hopes that this will prove cost effective for the city of Mankato by creating more energy than the current method.

Nguyen’s research project will be advised by Stephen Druschel, associate professor of civil engineering and mechanical engineering in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology at Minnesota State Mankato.

Nguyen is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She and a partner presented research at the spring 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.

The Frey Fellowship, named for Mrs. Anne and Dr. John Frey, is unique to Minnesota State Mankato and encourages applications from students in all disciplines within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. The intent of the fellowship is to allow a student to build on existing classroom and/or personal experiences and interests.

Nguyen utilized resources in Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of University Fellowships and the CSET Advising Center in pursuit of this award.

For more information on Minnesota State Mankato's Undergraduate Research Symposium, please visit the Undergraduate Research Center website.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,376 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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