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Scholarship Recipients PDF Print E-mail

Scholarship Recipients



Shane Seaman, VA Tech

Ashwin Venkatraman,UT Austin



Margaret Cook, UT Austin

Bryan Canavan, VA Tech



Allison Osborne, UT Austin

Matthew Reece, UF




 Shane Seaman:


Graduate Research Assistant, Virginia Tech Materials Science and Engineering


Shane Seaman is currently working on his Masters/PhD in Materials Science and Engineering through Virginia Tech as a National Institute Aerospace (NIA) graduate research assistant in Hampton, VA. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics also from Virginia Tech, and his research interests are in optics, smart optical materials, and solid state physics. Outside of work, Shane enjoys playing guitar, sky diving, playing football, and is working towards his private pilot’s license. In the next ten years he hopes to join NASA’s astronaut corps.



Ashwin Venkatraman:



Ashwin Venkatraman hails from Mumbai, India and has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Texas at Austin, studying petroleum engineering. Mr. Venkatraman's graduate studies include the broad topic of reactive flow of fluid in porous medium. He thinks that businesses around the world need to take a holistic approach to progress, and that every project should be evaluated on the basis of a sustainability index.

Upon graduation, Venkatraman hopes to pursue an academic career in teaching and research, as well as employ new metrics of sustainability on consulting projects. Outside of academics, he has volunteered for Pratham and Aakansha,  non-profit organizations working towards education for children in India. Venkatraman also enjoys playing field hockey and participating in the performing arts.







Margaret Cook:


Margaret Cook is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Civil Engineering with a focus in water treatment and minoring in Religious Studies. She hopes to use this education to promote clean water technologies both in America and abroad. As a step towards this goal, with other engineering students this past year, she helped to implement a water conservation system at a school in Peru. She intends to keep working on projects like this because everyone deserves access to clean water. She hails from Corpus Christi, Texas and enjoys playing guitar in her spare time.







Bryan Canavan:














Allison Osborne:


Allison completed her M.S.E. in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in December, 2009. Her Master's research focused on the production of microalgae for biofuels. Specifically, she investigated methods for harvesting suspended algae into a concentrated solution that can be further processed by lysing and oil extraction. Some of the processes she researched include chemical flocculation, dissolved air flotation, pre-oxidation, natural flocculation, and electrocoagulation. In addition, she identified characteristics of algae cell surfaces that impacts their ability to coagulate. Her research concluded by addressing the role of water chemistry and algae cell surface characteristics on the effective treatment mechanism.

Since graduating, Allison has accepted a position with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), where she will be working in the Water Quality Division. She is looking forward to contributing to the well-being of the environment by working with utilities to ensure that regulated industries are adequately treating their wastewater before discharging it to the public utility. She is also continuing to work with the Green Corn Project to install gardens in qualifying homes or organizations; most recently, she helped install a garden at a school for the handicaped.


Matthew Reece:


Matthew is currently pursuing his ME in Civil Engineering, with a concentration in Construction Management/Sustainable Engineering through the University of Florida.  Upon completion of his post graduate degree, Matthew plans on working in the field of coastal development.  With an interest in working in and around the ocean, Matthew sees a niche in developing and adapting some of the latest technologies in sustainability towards port and harbor design.


In his personal life, Matthew incorporates composting household waste and growing his own herbs and vegetables. Next on his plate- designing grey water and rain water systems and looking into solar power for his new home.



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