Hamline News

Professor Dong and Students Win EPA Research Grant

Physics Professor and Department Chair Professor Lifeng Dong and students Alex Walsh, Kyle Wendorf, Samantha Coffler, and Sideena Grace have won an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant through the P3 - People, Prosperity and the Planet – student design program.

The Hamline collaborative team proposed to build a device to detect lead in tap water that uses a technique called surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) which will result in a tool that is more sensitive than current EPA standards. The project will allow students from physics, chemistry and biochemistry to participate in research that can improve public health. The proposed device design will measure concentrations as low one nanomolar. It is intended to allow users to fully assess if action needs to be taken to remove lead from their community water infrastructure.

This is the second EPA P3 funding that Professor Dong and a student team has secured at Hamline. The previously funded project was to design a film to facilitate snow removal from solar panels.

The EPA P3 program provides funding for students to research, develop, and design projects that involve all areas of environmental protection and public health. The program aims to “foster progress towards environmental awareness by achieving the symbiotic goals of improved quality of life for all people, economic prosperity, and protection of the planet - people, prosperity and the planet.” The Hamline project is a Phase I or “proof of concept” and the team secured $24,500 for the year-long project. The research team will have the opportunity to showcase their research in the spring at EPA's National Student Design Expo (NSDE).

Written by staff.