By Reece Lima-Thompson, MASc student, York University
The 2022 IUVA Americas Conference attracted 24 student presentations, discussing a broad range of topics such as validation methods, LEDs, UV in public health, and water and wastewater treatment. The presentations were evaluated by a panel of 12 judges from industry and academia, with judging organized by Dr. Olya Keen, University of North Carolina – Charlotte. The judges scored the presentations based on speaking skills, graphics and technical quality. This was the fourth year that these presentations were vying for the “Jim Bolton Award for Best Student Presentation,” in recognition of Dr. Jim Bolton’s lifetime contributions to mentoring students.
First place was a tie between two students from the University of Toronto: Karlye Wong and Nathan Moore. Wong’s talk showcased the research she has been conducting in northern Tanzania. Wong and her partners have developed a solution for delivering clean drinking water, using solar-powered UV light for treatment, to off-grid healthcare facilities in the region. Moore’s talk discussed characterizing the disinfection by product formation, and toxicity of these by-products, in the UV/Cl advanced oxidation process. Second place went to Anthony Pimentel from the University of Colorado Boulder. In his presentation he discussed optimizing the radical yield of advanced oxidation processes using the diverse wavelengths emitted from UV LEDs. The first-place award included a $300 cash prize and the second-place winner received a $100 cash prize, generously sponsored by Brown and Caldwell.
Sudhish Swain, a student from Montgomery High School, was the youngest attendee and presented an innovative method to purify water by leveraging the synergetic effect of heat and UV produced from household microwave ovens. Swain was attending the conference as this year’s recipient of the IUVA/RadTech RadLaunch prize to promote STEM activities in high school.
The 2022 IUVA Americas Conference also gave students an opportunity to connect and share research goals and accomplishments with fellow students and industry professionals. The Young Professional Quiz Night gave all participants a chance to test their general knowledge, which provided easy opportunities to meet and share laughs with fellow conference attendees. The Riverboat Cruise and Dinner provided further chances for students to connect and mingle with conference attendees. The buffet dinner on the beautiful backdrop of the Ohio River was the perfect setting for students to get to know one another and make lasting connections.