Marquette University: Engineering department receives $600,000 graduate assistance award

MILWAUKEE — The Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department in the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University has been awarded a $600,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship program award, will support five student fellows and aid the department’s project “Enhanced Civil Engineering Training and Research to Rebuild America’s Water Infrastructure.”

Specifically, the money will be used to provide stipend and tuition funds for graduate students who will be GAANN fellows, as well as for recruiting highly talented students in financial need, particularly from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in engineering. The GAANN fellows will enter Marquette University’s doctoral program in civil engineering. The funds will also provide students with faculty mentors, interdisciplinary teaching and research experiences, and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance learning surrounding water infrastructure.

Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, said the college strongly supports the work of Dr. Daniel Zitomer, chair and professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering and director of the Water Quality Center — who is the principal investigator for the grant — as well as Drs. Stephen Heinrich, Brooke Mayer and Tony Parolari, who are co-principal investigators.

“Their work will welcome students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds into critically important areas of water infrastructure research, inspiring them to pursue careers where they will make a direct impact in the health and wellness of their communities,” Ropella said.

Marquette University will provide an additional $150,000 to support the GAANN fellows and is committed to supporting all the fellows through degree completion — up to five years.

“With our location in Milwaukee, we are uniquely positioned within a strong network of collaborators in water technology,” Zitomer said. “This grant will allow us to welcome five students, providing them with the support from our world-class faculty who will help them expand their knowledge in water infrastructure.”

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