On Water

The following was my submission to Kelly Engineering Services for an annual scholarship. Although I was not the winner, my essay had a strong message. I titled it: “On Water: The Social Complexities of a Simple Molecule”

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Water surrounds us; it is in our showers and baths, it washes our hands, cooks our appetizers and entrée. With it, we continue living like nothing ever happened. Without it, the most basic forms of life could not exist. Although water encapsulates seventy percent of our planet, there are people struggling to find it. I believe that engineers have a responsibility to protect humanity; to share knowledge of technological advances with the world, and correct their mistakes in social and political aspects. As of late, issues such as the Flint water crisis and Porter Ranch methane leak reflect engineering at its worst in the US. However, I still hold true that engineers are capable of so much more.

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Cap It

In the early 1900s, Onondaga Lake had a lot to offer. There was entertainment, like rowing, canoeing, strolling, swimming, fishing, and even amusement rides. Now some call it “The Most Polluted Lake in America”. Detrimental chemical dumping took place in Onondaga Lake from the 1920s to the 1990’s primarily by a company called Allied Chemical, later renamed Honeywell. Starting in 2000, Honeywell began a study and clean up of the lake to reverse its 70 years worth of contamination. Now, the environmental harm caused earlier in the lake’s history has been somewhat undone with a simple method. A quite literal version of this method appears in The Simpson’s Movie, but the actual process is what environmental engineers call “capping”. Continue reading “Cap It”