The past couple weeks have completely flown by. With civil engineering, things have been a bit more complicated, as we have now completely abandoned our home in Cameron in mid-summer, and now find ourselves in the wonderful new EPIC building. (For anyone who isn't familiar with EPIC--Energy Production and Infrastructure Center, this fall, it will definitely be a great place to visit, and explore the new energy efficient systems and latest green technology.)
Besides the big move, things have been going rather well. I have been able to move beyond literature review and preliminary stages to the next phase of my project which is developing a plan. The amazing thing about being on this research team is the resourcefulness of my faculty mentor. Two weeks ago, it was incredible being able to visit the site and tour where my samples were collected and have a professional to show me around and explain all aspects of the waste treatment processes and answer all of my questions. Later that week, I was invited to sit in on a meeting with a consulting firm who is working more on the greater scope of the project, as well as members of my research team, faculty adviser, and other professionals. It opened up this line of communication to bounce ideas off of industrial professionals and other faculty and to gather more insight into how to solve or begin to analyze the problem at hand. It put my research into a much larger perspective, that what I have begun is just an initial phase we hope will expand in the coming years to help the power industry throughout the country and world as everyone shifts away from nuclear sources.
Since the meetings and tour, I have developed a procedures plan to implement all of the ideas and information that I have collected and the ideas of those throughout the consulting and research team. While I am tackling this project independently, the value of those around me becomes much clearer each day. I also developed spreadsheets to calculate various parameters and predict the impact of those parameters. I have also begun the initial phases of testing on the halide solution, and will continue in the coming weeks with further testing and sample development. The hope is that by the end of the eight week period of time, I will have completed my first phase of this project, and will hope to move forward in the future with this and other research opportunities.