Jun 29, 2009

North Carolina Student to Represent U.S. in International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition

Eileen Jang studied mercury sulfide nanoparticles in freshwater systems

Eileen Jang of Cary, N.C. was named the U.S. winner of the 2009 Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) during a ceremony this weekend at the University of Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska.

The student’s work, “Natural Organics Control Aggregation of Mercury Sulfide Nanoparticles in Freshwater Systems,” introduced a novel aqueous synthesis process for studying how HgS nanoparticles, the precursors to methylmercury, persist in freshwater systems. Jang’s research deepened the understanding of mercury, a substance that bioaccumulates in fish and is toxic to humans, in its aqueous phase and furthered the emerging field of nanogeoscience. Her project was selected from more than 40 state SJWP winners at the national competition held in Anchorage from June 25 to 27.

The student from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, N.C., received $3,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, where she will compete against national winners from more than 30 countries for the international honor during World Water Week, August 16 to 22, 2009. HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will present the international award—$5,000 and crystal sculpture—during a royal ceremony held in conjunction with the Stockholm Water Symposium. In addition, Jang’s school will receive a $1,000 grant toward enhancing water science education and she will present her research to more than 20,000 water quality professionals at WEFTEC.09—the Water Environment Federation's 82nd annual technical exhibition and conference—this October in Orlando, Fla.

Three U.S. finalists, Scott Boisvert from Chandler, Ariz., Li Boynton from Houston, Texas, and Collin McAliley of Melbourne Beach, Fla., also received a $1,000 award.

The Water Environment Federation sponsors the U.S. SJWP with support from ITT Corp. (also the international sponsor), The Coca-Cola Co., and Delta Air Lines. The Alaska Water Wastewater Management Association served as the 2009 host of the national competition and Jang received sponsorship from the North Carolina Water Environment Association.