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Professors receive grant to develop water-sampling watercraft

Jul 7, 2010

Ohio Northern University professors Dr. John-David Yoder, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Robert Verb, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Leslie A. Riley, assistant professor of biological sciences, received a $10,000 research grant to design, build and test a watercraft capable of autonomously sampling water quality on Ohio lakes.

A team of Ohio Northern engineering and biology students, advised by faculty from both areas, will be responsible for creating and testing the device. The craft will be tested on Grand Lake St. Mary’s, which has recently been the site of cyanobacterial bloom.

This research is supported by the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, Project R/CE-011-PD, under award NA06OAR4170020 from the National Sea Grant College Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“This project would not have been possible without a lot of people, especially Dr. Pradalier, Laura Walker (the watershed coordinator for the Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance) and Brian Miller (assistant park manager of Grand Lake St. Mary’s State Park),” said Yoder. “Both Ms. Walker and Mr. Miller supported our grant application, and we look forward to having our students work with them to be sure that the final product is useful to the community.”

Yoder will serve as principal investigator for this research. The project was inspired by the work of Dr. Cedric Pradalier and his students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), where Yoder visited and spoke during his sabbatical.

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