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Two graduate students win top spots at ASCE-EWRI competition

Mahsa Izadmehr and Morvarid Khazraee

CME students Mahsa Izadmehr and Morvarid Khazraee captured first and second place in the Graduate Division of the 2018 EWRI Student Technical Paper Competition hosted by the Environmental & Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE-EWRI).

The students made presentations during the 2018 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress in June in Minneapolis, which is the largest gathering of Environmental/Water Researchers for ASCE. At the event, they faced tough competition and demanding judges.

“Both are doing great work on very different projects, and I had hoped that perhaps one would be a finalist,” said CME Professor Karl Rockne, who is the directing the students in his laboratory at UIC. “But to have both finalists and to have them take first and second exceeded all expectations!”

Izadmehr won first place for her paper Pocket Wetlands for Nutrient Removal in Tile-drained Agriculture.

“All of my efforts, time and energy paid off,” said Izadmehr, who also captured third place during the CME-UIC Burke Graduate Poster Competition earlier in the month.

“Dr. Rockne always guides and helps us to the right direction, and give us confidence to move forward in our projects,” she added.

Khazraee captured second place for her paper A Mechanistic Model to Predict Gas Ebullition Rate in the Presence of NAPLs in Sediments.

The Environmental & Water Resources Institute is ASCE’s technical source for environmental and water-related issues. EWRI is one of nine ASCE technical institutes, and it provides technical and educational information through journals, publications, educational seminars and webinars, and conferences and workshops.

“Mahsa and Morvarid are exceptionally hard working students,” said Rockne. “They are always working on their research, either running experiments in the lab or doing computational modeling in the case of Morvarid, or doing field work or analyzing samples in the laboratory in the case of Mahsa.”

Learn more about CME’s graduate studies at