Amy Mueller, Assistant Professor in Marine and Environmental Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded a $50,000 seed grant to investigate a new, ultra-low-cost method of monitoring urban water systems. Dr. Mueller and collaborators are exploring how low-cost textured films – similar to those used to create an iridescent look on toys and handbags – could be leveraged as spectrophotometers in certain applications. If effective, this method could be utilized as a low-cost, remote detection of chemical anomalies in municipal water infrastructure.
Mueller’s collaborator on the project, UMaine Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Caitlin Howell, has been investigating how these iridescent low-cost textured films may detect changes in the amount of materials deposited on surfaces. Dr. Mueller’s team contributes an extensive knowledge of storm- and wastewater monitoring and machine learning to the project. Together, this work could lead to new methods of providing critical data to stakeholders and managers of urban water systems.
This partnership is supported by a new seed grant initiative which aims to promote collaboration between Northeastern University and the University of Maine.
Read more about this project in UMaine’s recent press release, linked here.