~ For Our Water ~ South Carolina Environment Conference, Myrtle Beach, March 2017.

To continue Clemson’s yearly tradition, our research group was encouraged by our advisor – Dr. David Ladner – to attend the annual South Carolina Environmental Conference (SCEC) from March 12-15, 2017, in Myrtle Beach, SC. I did not know what to expect, considering it would be my first conference and my first experience presenting my research.

The opening session expanded on the theme of the conference, “For Our Water”. Kevin Mills (current President and CEO of the South Carolina Aquarium) described the work they had been doing since 2000 and highlighted their current activities to improve the environment on both a local and regional level.

The SCEC also offered presentations on topics ranging from wastewater treatment, resiliency, funding opportunities, and regulatory compliance. Some of Clemson’s students led four of those presentations:

  • Rasna Sharmin (member of our research group and visiting scholar from Bangladesh) – Development of Computational Fluid Dynamis (CFO) Models for Simulating Foulant Reduction by Patterned RO and NF Membranes.
  • Mahmut ErsanFormation, Speciation, and Toxicity of DBP during Chloramination of Bromide and Iodide Containing Waters.
  • Wilson Beita-SandiSimultaneous Control of NDMA and THM Precursors with Anion and Cation Exchange Resins.
  • Çağri Utku ErdemCan Prescribed Burns Decrease DOM Exports and DBP Formation Potential in Forested Watersheds?

Several of us also presented posters at the event. In the poster competition, Wilson Beita-Sandi came in second place (“Ion Exchange Resins Effectively Reduce Disinfection Byproducts Precursors in a Single Treatment”) whereas I came in third place (“Dissolved CO2 – An Alternative for Cleaning Inorganic Scale from RO Membranes”) and Çağri Utku Erdem received fourth place (“Compositional changes of Dissolved Organic Matter following Prescribed Fire on Forested Watersheds and their effect on Drinking Water Supply”).

Zuo Zhou, another member of our research group presented her poster entitled “Towards the Discovery of an Innovative Membrane Surface Pattern with Increased Fouling”. Furthermore, Mahmut Ersan, Wilson Beita-Sandi and Erin Partlan (yet another member of our group) were recognized at the conference for receiving WEASC fellowships.

1) Jack Chapman; 2) Mahmut Ersan; 3) Wilson Beita-Sandi; 4) Zuo Zhou; 5) Victoria Guerrero; 6) Dr. David Ladner; 7) Rong Yu; 8) Rasna Sharmin; 9) Lucy Zhang; 10) Sarah Hennessy; 11) Joseph Green 12) Erin Hughes

Not only did the SCEC allowed us to do networking with other water researchers in the state, but it also offered some social events such as a Sunday morning kick-off 5K run/walk on the boardwalk and beach, several competitions and a cornhole contest.

If I had to describe what the SCEC meant to me in a few words, I would say it was an interesting and fun experience. We got to meet other professionals, we were presented with the opportunity to briefly talk about our future research and we got to learn about what other researchers are currently working on. It was also a nice opportunity to mingle with some students from the University of South Carolina, College of Charleston and Coastal Carolina University on a YP Happy Hour in Margaritaville at Broadway at the Beach and a lunch at an Indian buffet.


What else could I say? Attending conferences should definitely be on every student’s checklist.


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