Abhishek Dutta

 
Harvesting Energy from Waste Streams
 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I work in the Water Energy nexus and in order to get more expertise in the field, I believe I needed a graduate degree, both in terms of gaining experience and practicing world class research. It helped me narrow down my academic interests and would prove crucial in helping me to stick around in academia.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I believe UBC has a well established Civil Engineering Department which has a strong focus towards Pollution and Waste Management, especially Water and Wastewater Treatment, which is what I am interested in. Also, I think it is a great place to study, carry out world class research and brings together some of the best minds across several fields of interests, all under one roof. It is a world class university which provides a great faculty-student experience.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Environmental Systems Engineering program in the Department of Civil Engineering at UBC carries out some of the best research in the field of Water and Wastewater treatment in the country. In particular, I like the way water research in the department intertwines treatment with resource recovery, which I believe is a futuristic perspective and important for developing environmentally sustainable treatment systems.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The city in itself! It has so much to offer and one can never be bored. UBC is definitely one of the most beautiful campuses around, which offers much more than just a classroom experience.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I love watching theatre, dance and music. I enjoy playing tennis and travelling the world, meeting new people and learning new languages, exploring different cuisines and knowing more about different cultures. I also love going on treks and hiking.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

It is important to stay driven and have patience. Grades usually take care of themselves as long as you are enjoying your courses. It is also very important to take breaks and enjoy what the city has to offer from time to time.

 
 

Learn more about Abhishek's research

Wastewater Treatment is a well explored field where several technologies have come up to recycle and reuse both industrial and domestic water from waste streams, to account for shortage of water in several developed and developing countries. However, the energy required to treat these effluent systems is extremely high and there is also the concern of release of greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide and Methane to the atmosphere which would add to global warming significantly. We propose to use innovative separation techniques, designing membranes with specific surface characteristics which can be used to selectively extract these greenhouse gases which in turn are great sources of energy, making the whole process energy efficient and environmentally friendlier. The use of these membranes can also be extended to extract other biofuels from wastes.