American Water announced that Allison Bergquist, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, has been chosen as the recipient of the American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) 2015 American Water Scholarship. The scholarship is an annual award of $5,000 presented to a graduate-level student to assist with the development of professionals interested in service to the water industry.
"American Water is pleased to present this prestigious award to Allison, who was selected among 52 outstanding applicants," said Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of Innovation & Environmental Stewardship and member of the award selection committee. "Not only is Allison an exceptional scholar, she is an experienced leader with a lot to bring to the water industry and has a clear passion for research and engineering. We are proud to help her advance her drinking water research studies."
Bergquist was selected for this scholarship due to her academic abilities, commitment to service and leadership to contribute to the advancement of science in the field of drinking water. Her current research is focused on a hybrid ion exchange-catalytic system for nitrate treatment, which could enable waste brine reuse after catalytic treatment to remove nitrate. Reuse of waste brine would significantly reduce the economic costs and environmental burdens associated with conventional ion exchange nitrate treatment.
Bergquist received a bachelor's degree in geography from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master's degree in diplomacy from Norwich University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, with a focus on water quality. Before beginning her Ph.D. studies and pursuing a career in environmental engineering, Bergquist spent 10 years working in the military, government and private sector supporting the Global War on Terrorism, including deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. She continues to serve her country as a Naval Reserve Officer.
Administered by AWWA, American Water's Scholarship is currently the only one offered by a water utility among AWWA’s 16 active scholarships.
Source: American Water Works Assn.