Huichun (Judy) Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor, has recently been awarded two National Science Foundation grants:
Impact of Interactions between Metal Oxides to Redox Reactivity of Iron and Manganese Oxides: This project will investigate complex model systems containing binary oxide mixtures to resemble soil-water environments. The goal is to understand the fate of emerging contaminants in the environment for assessing their potential risks to ecological systems. Specifically, this study is the first to examine the nature of interactions within binary oxide mixtures and how the interactions affect the redox activity of iron and manganese oxides.
BRIDGE: Redox Noninnocent Ligands – Application to the Reductive Transformation of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals Containing Carbon-Nitrogen Double Bonds: This project will, for the first time, apply the concept of redox non-innocent ligands to the overall reductive transformation of a group of veterinary pharmaceuticals. The role and transformation of both the pharmaceutical compounds and redox non-innocent ligands will be investigated from a mechanistic perspective.
Both awards will also advance a number of education and outreach activities that are geared towards increasing public awareness and diversity in environmental engineering. For example, one of the projects’ goals is to provide society with more female and underrepresented minority engineers who are equipped with the knowledge, training, and social consciousness needed to realize sustainable water environments.
Dr. Zhang joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s faculty in fall 2010. She earned her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on reduction-oxidation processes, transformation and fate of emerging contaminants in natural and engineered environments, and polymeric sorbents for the removal of emerging contaminants. She is the director of the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory. Dr. Zhang has published in numerous journals, such as Environmental Science and Technology and the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.