My research is in organic municipal solid waste. I am studying the composting process, either anaerobically (producing fuel) or aerobically (producing fertilizer). Essentially, we are trying to optimize the digestion process, with a couple of different research avenues to explore: adding oxygen to increase the compost production rate; evaluating the potential for chemical contamination; assessing the system performance, compared to other anaerobic digestion processes; evaluating the feedstock to further optimize the process. Depending on whether I study the aerobic or anaerobic process, I will be interested in producing either methane fuel or a more environmentally-friendly fertilizer.
Julie is originally from Rockford, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa, where she also did research in an environmental microbiology lab. Before returning to school, she worked for four years as an engineer in Washington, DC, and focused primarily on drinking water. Now she is studying for a Master’s in environmental engineering and taking courses in hydrology, aquatic chemistry, and water and wastewater treatment.