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Dr. Jessica Ray

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Dr. Jessica Ray joined the University of Washington Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in January 2019. Previously, Dr. Ray was a Miller Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley investigating low-cost engineered adsorbents for removal of trace contaminants in urban stormwater. Jessica received her B.S. (Chemical Engineering, 2009) and Ph.D. (Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, 2015) from Washington University in St. Louis. As a graduate student, Dr. Ray’s research examined the fate and transport of nanomaterials by employing advanced surface chemistry analytical techniques for which she received the Environmental Protection Agency Students to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship to support her research. At the University of Washington, Jessica plans to design, characterize and apply low-cost engineered adsorbents for selective removal of contaminants in stormwater and wastewater. In the future, Dr. Ray plans to expand the portfolio of composite adsorbents to investigate ways to recover nutrients and other valuable materials from wastewater. In her free time, Jessica loves to cook and bake, and go hiking with her dog, Lucy.

Dr. Katya Cherukumilli

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Katya completed her B.S. in Environmental Sciences (2012) and PhD in Environmental Engineering (2017) at the University of California, Berkeley. During her doctoral research, Katya developed an inexpensive process to remediate fluoride-contaminated groundwater by using bauxite, an aluminum-rich ore that is widely available in resource-constrained regions affected by endemic skeletal fluorosis. Currently, Katya is a UW Commercialization Postdoctoral Fellow and the Founder/CEO of her nonprofit, Global Water Labs. Katya aims to scale up and deploy the groundwater defluoridation process in the East African Rift Valley in conjunction with field partners. Katya is also conducting research to treat industrial wastewater containing heavy metals (e.g., Cu, Pb, Zn) at Cascade Designs, Inc. Her overarching research interests are to leverage inexpensive natural composite ores to remediate persistent inorganic groundwater contaminants, to evaluate the efficiency of different reactor configurations, and to develop novel methods for addressing solid waste produced during water treatment by adsorption. In her spare time, Katya loves throwing pottery at the studio, cooking vegetarian meals, playing strategy-based board games, bouldering, playing soccer, and exploring new waterfalls and rivers.

Dr. Yuemei Ye

YuemeiYuemei completed her Ph.D in the Chemistry Department at Tongji University in China (2017). During her Ph.D. study, she investigated functional polymetric hydrogel synthesis and their applications. Then she worked on functional porous materials design for selective adsorption and desorption of toxic pollutants in water during her postdoctoral research in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the School of freshwater center. Her research projects got the sponsorship of A.O. Smith Corp. and SSI Corp. Currently, Yuemei is a UW Postdoctoral Fellow. She has a background in both material science and water treatment research and is now focusing on developing useful and green materials or methods for drinking water and wastewater treatment. She desires to become a professional female scientist, working on environmental applications. In her spare time, Yuemei loves walking outside, enjoy the sunshine, reading books, cooking Chinese food, swimming and exploring the city.