Civil engineering team's paper wins ASCE Hering Medal

Civil engineering team's paper wins ASCE Hering Medal

Calendar Icon Apr 08, 2016          RSS Feed RSS

A UNL enginering team that includes Tian Zhang (left), professor of civil engineering; and John Stansbury, associate professor and associate chair of civil engineering -- received the Rudolph Hering Medal for its paper, "Contributions of Internal and External Fouling to Transmembrane Pressure in MBRs: Experiments and Modeling."
A UNL enginering team that includes Tian Zhang (left), professor of civil engineering; and John Stansbury, associate professor and associate chair of civil engineering -- received the Rudolph Hering Medal for its paper, "Contributions of Internal and External Fouling to Transmembrane Pressure in MBRs: Experiments and Modeling."
A paper co-authored by UNL civil engineering faculty Tian Zhang and John Stansbury and graduate student Meng Hu, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Rudolph Hering Medal, given by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Titled “Contributions of Internal and External Fouling to Transmembrane Pressure in MBRs: Experiments and Modeling,” the paper was published in the June 2015 edition of the ASCE’s Journal of Environmental Engineering.

Zhang, professor of civil engineering, and Hu were co-primary investigators on the project. Stansbury, associate professor and associate chair of civil engineering, was also a co-author of the study along with two faculty from UNL’s Center for Biotechnology – research professor You Zhou and research scientist Han Chen – and Jill Neal, engineer in the Water Supply and Water Resources Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The team developed a mathematical model to predict transmembrane pressure (TMP) on membrane bioreactors (MBR), which are commonly used in municipal water treatment facilities. Membranes are used as filters that reject solid materials that are developed by biological processes, resulting in clear, disinfected water.

Using a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM), the team stained and measured various foulants that can form layers on the membranes. Then, a mathematical model was developed to link transmembrane pressure with basic filtration parameters and quantitatively describe the contribution of both external and internal fouling layers to TMP.

This is the 74th time the Rudolph Hering Medal has been given since it was instituted and endowed in 1924. The medal is awarded to the author or authors of a paper that contains the most valuable contribution to the increase of knowledge in, and to the advancement of, the environmental branch of the engineering profession.

Papers are eligible for nomination if they are authored by ASCE members and deal with water works, sewerage works, drainage, refuse collection and disposal or any branch of environmental engineering. The papers must be presented to ASCE or its Environmental and Water Resources Institute, and published in a print issue of an ASCE journal within a year beginning with the preceding June.