Published On : Thu, Jun 4th, 2015

3 Oxford University students to visit NEERI for research on water

Nagpur: With their plan to carry out a research study on water and its developing technologies in the up-coming regions, as many as three students from Oxford University are going to visit National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur on a month-long study tour in the region.

They include Oxford University’s Environmental Engineering junior Jennifer Salvo, Environmental Sustainability senior Kyle Mattingly and Geography junior Amelia Schwartz. They will be working as research assistants at NEERI, from June 18 to July 21, 2015. Their focus will be on increasing sanitation and access to potable water in developing regions.

Mattingly and Schwartz are registered in technical water methods, guided by Jim Chamberlain, co-director of education and outreach of water technologies for upcoming regions centre. His guidance will help in terms of preparation for the work they are to carry out in India. Mr Chamberlain has been guiding the fourth year course during May intersession. His vast experience with NGOs like those run by engineers will prove a great benefit during the field-work class.

According to Chamberlain, his skills have taught students how to get water and sanitation to people in developing regions in all possible ways. His course on various skills taught take the students from class-room to field-work for effective demonstration to increase their ability and knowledge. His guidance will help people build latrines, water-wells, survey of land and making of water filters with naturally available materials.

Schwartz is of the view that the people will actually do the work in field , rather than what they learn in a class-room situation, though with the help of local NGOs. She further said that the class will be held for five days a week, and the duration will be six and a half hours every day. It will include digging of 20-foot-deep wells, made of brick stoves and erected concrete walls round a composting latrine, she added.

It is disclosed that no faculty members of Oxford University will accompany the students on their visit to India. David Sabatini, director of the Oxfrod University centre has a better experience of NEERI during his visit in the recent past, and his assessment records as ‘impressive operation’ in terms of facility as well as working condition. Besides the slated visit of Oxford students in this summer, Sabatini and Chamberlain will visit Ethiopia to carry out research on fluoride concentrations found in the groundwater of that country.

Similar research problems of Ethiopia, Pakistan, Bangla Desh and Oklahoma are on their agenda, said Sabatini, who said in a press release, adding ‘We try to identify problems that build on our history, build on our strength, so that we can respond to global challenges while serving people locally as well.’