Moala Keshei Bannavti, Ph.D. student, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Measures air toxins in schools
• Hometown: North Plainfield, NJ
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Keri Hornbuckle, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. And Craig Just, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. (I am co-advised)
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering; August 2022
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on testing the feasibility of targeted materials remediation as an alternative option of removing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from school air. I measure the airborne PCBs in individual schoolrooms and use robust statistics to examine the variability in concentration and congener distribution.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? This research matters because current methods of PCB remediation are very expensive. It is our hope that by developing a method to better prioritize materials for removal, we will save school districts money. This is especially helpful for schools in resource-constraint, minority-predominant communities.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I began participating in lab research after my first semester here, early January 2019.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? My research involvement is the impact I am most proud of throughout my time at Iowa thus far. I recently won the University’s 3 Minute Thesis competition which is still such an honor. My participation in research made that experience possible for me.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? After graduation I plan to be a professor at an R1 University, like Iowa.
Banner location: online—