For the past two years, the Water Advanced Research and Innovation (WARI) Fellowship Program has brought Ph.D. students and professors from prestigious universities in India to the University of Nebraska to work with faculty mentors on urgent water quality challenges.
A joint program of the Department of Science and Technology, the government of India, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (DWFI) and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum, WARI is entering its third year after two successful rounds. The program’s goal is to provide opportunities to the best and brightest Indian students and scientists to gain exposure and access to world class research facilities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. WARI promotes research and capacity building in the area of water while encouraging and motivating outstanding students to take up research as a career path.
According to Jesse Starita, Education Outreach Coordinator with the DWFI, WARI is beneficial for all parties.
“The researchers from India are given the opportunity to use Nebraska’s state of the art research facilities and equipment, while the faculty mentors gain global perspectives on their research,” said Starita. “We’re also hoping this will build long-term research and development linkages and collaborations.”
WARI fellows, professors from universities in India, stay at the University of Nebraska for up to 12 months, while interns, Ph.D. graduate students, can stay for a maximum of six months. The program is currently under evaluation for renewal for another three-year term.
Concurrently, leadership at the Water for Food Global Institute recently launched a reciprocal program for UNL students and scientists to have a similar experience in India. In January 2018, David Gosselin, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science, became the inaugural Nebraska WARI fellow. Gosselin was hosted for five months in the Department of Water Resources Development and Management at IIT Roorkee.
WARI mentors from the Department of Civil Engineering include Drs. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Chittaranjan Ray, Xu Li, Yusong Li, and Ashraf Aly Hassan. This year, faculty in the department will host one fellow and one student, including:
- Dr. Sandeep Kumar, assistant professor, Guru Jambeshwar University of Science & Technology, Hisar, for the project: Utilization of Nanomaterials for Quick and Efficient Water Management. Civil faculty mentors: Dr. Ashraf Aly Hassan and Dr. Yusong Li.
- Ipsita Nandi, Ph.D. student, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, for the project: Monitoring Water Quality for Turbidity Nutrients and Atrazine using Citizen Science in the U.S. and India. Civil faculty mentors: Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt and co-mentor Dr. Eleanor Rogan of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
For more information on the WARI program, please see the WARI page on the Water for Food Institute’s website.
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