Environmental Engineering and Marine Science

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Job Type: 
Job Rank: 
Graduate Research Assistantship (M.S., Ph.D., or Sc.D.)
Job Institution: 
University of South Alabama
Job Description: 

The Whelton and Powers Groups at the University of South Alabama are collectively seeking a candidate for a graduate research assistantship (GRA) in either Civil Engineering or Marine Sciences that begins Fall 2012. The selected individual will conduct thesis work in pursuit of a Ph.D., Sc.D., or M.S. degree on a US EPA STAR project entitled “Dendritic Polymers as Biocompatible Dispersants.” This project was awarded to PI Drs. David Ladner (Clemson Univ.) and coPIs Pu-Chun Ke (Clemson Univ.), Andrew Whelton (South Alabama), and Sean Powers (South Alabama) and began Summer 2012. At South Alabama, the graduate student will receive full financial support (lucrative stipend + tuition), should be highly motivated with good academic standing, and work full‐time on their thesis research project. The student will examine the oil-dispersing capacity of dendritic polymers and develop a fundamental understanding of the physical-chemical interactions between the polymers and oil components. The biocompatibility and environmental safety of these novel materials will also be examined for mammalian cells and marine bacteria using toxicological assays and microcosm experiments. Comparisons with Corexit 9500A (the dispersant used in the Deepwater Horizon cleanup effort) and other conventional dispersants will also be carried-out. Applicants should hold at least a B.S. in Civil/Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Science, or Microbiology with some knowledge of environmental chemistry, chemical detection and analysis. We invite interested applicants to visit the Whelton Group (http://www.usacoe.org/ajwhelton) and Powers Group (http://www.southalabama.edu/marinesciences/fac_powers.html) websites and to send a personal statement with justification that describes their background, unique skill set, and interests to Prof. Andrew Whelton (ajwhelton@usouthal.edu). This position will remain open until filled. Women and minority students are encouraged to apply. The candidate must have a strong desire to learn and apply fundamental environmental chemistry and engineering principles using state‐of‐the‐art analytical techniques and equipment. The University of South Alabama has over 15,000 students and is one of Alabama’s fastest-growing public universities. Our University is located in Mobile, whose metropolitan area population is 350,000 near the Gulf Coast’s white sandy beaches. The University prides itself on making a difference in Alabama and the nation through teaching, research, service, and health care. South Alabama offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, arts and sciences, business, allied health, and nursing.