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Student Profiles

Stephany Wei

PhD Student

Environmental Engineering

How did you first become interested in engineering?

I became interested in engineering because I enjoyed math and science classes as an undergrad. Being able to apply what I learned in these classes to solving engineering problems was very fun for me.

What UW CEE program are you currently enrolled in?

Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering

What year in school are you?

I’m in my second year of the Ph.D. program.

Why did you choose UW Civil & Environmental Engineering?

I chose this program because it is one of the most important engineering fields. It is essential to people’s basic needs from the water that we drink to the roads that we walk on.

What do you enjoy most about the program?

I enjoy my research most. I love the field of biological wastewater treatment and through research is how I develop a deeper understanding for the subject. My research is to find ways to integrate aerobic granular sludge technology, a much more efficient process, into the conventional activated sludge process. We are particularly interested in how this integration would expand the application of phosphorus removal and recovery in wastewater treatment. Phosphorus recovery is important because all living organisms need phosphorus to live, but our source of phosphorus (phosphate rock) is a non-renewable source.

What aspect of the field are you particularly interested in?

Wastewater treatment.

If you’ve been involved in research, what have you worked on?

As an undergrad, I worked in a hydraulics lab where I helped with instrumental setup and experiments for simulating a river plume. For my master’s thesis, I did research on the development and testing of three onsite wastewater treatment technologies for nitrogen removal. My current research is on aerobic granular sludge technology for phosphorus removal and recovery.

What other activities on campus are you involved in?

I am an officer for the AWWA-WEF student club.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I will either continue working in the field of research or the wastewater industry.

Any advice for prospective students who are considering UW CEE?

You can expect friendly people and atmosphere, challenging academic experiences, very resourceful mentorship from faculty members and many research opportunities to participate in.