Five Questions with:
Name: Sara Glade
Advisor: Ashok Gadgil
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
1. WHERE DID YOU DO YOUR UNDERGRAD/MASTERS AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE UC BERKELEY?
I did my Undergrad and Masters at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois. I chose UC Berkeley for my PhD for many reasons, but here are two: 1. there is a strong community of development engineering researchers and interesting development-focused research, especially related to water, 2. the graduate students I met when visiting seemed very supportive of one another, both personally and professionally (I still find this true to this day!)
2. WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
I am very passionate about research that has the potential to improve access to safe drinking water, is grounded in the reality of a community facing water contamination issues, and involves treatment technologies. I am very lucky to say that my current research fits all of these!
3. IF YOU COULD MAKE A GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVERY OR CHANGE A SYSTEM IN THE WORLD OF WATER RESEARCH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I think more work needs to be done in taking innovative ideas from the lab and bringing them to life at scale in the field. This is not an easy task, and certainly takes a different set of skills, but I think it is needed to ensure that we make an impact as a field.
4. WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING CHALLENGE YOU’VE TACKLED WHILE STUDYING AT UC BERKELEY?
The project I am working right now is probably the most exciting challenge I have tackled. I am working to design, implement, and operate a field trial of novel treatment technology for arsenic treatment in a small, low-income community in California. I am planning to conduct interviews with community members as part of the work, and also am working closely with community partners. It is a very dynamic project that is pushing my skills as an engineer in the lab and in the field, and I am learning a lot and having a lot of fun.
5. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?
I hope to still be working on access to safe drinking water- whether that be from a nonprofit, government, or academic institution is still to be determined!