News 2012

BEES Researcher Making an Impact

Wed, 18 Apr 2012

Willow plants on constructed wetlands during summer. BEES Plant Science postgraduate student Fergus Mc Auliffe has reached the final of the HEA/Irish Independent 'Making An Impact' competition.

The aim of the competition, which is open to research students of any discipline, is to highlight how good ideas can positively change how we live, work, think or interact.

Fergus will join four other researchers in the final stage of the competition by presenting their research at a public event at The Helix, Dublin City University on the 24th of April.

The finalists will make a ten minute presentation along with a question and answer session with an expert panel. Two awards of €2,500 will presented to the winning researchers, one of which will be chosen by the panel and one chosen by the secondary school students in attendance.

Willow trees on constructed wetland just after planting Fergus' is carrying out a PhD on the use of constructed wetlands to treat wastewater from houses. Constructed wetlands are wetlands that have been engineered to clean our wastewater. The willow trees and soil in the wetlands (pictured) use up the wastewater, preventing harmful pollutants such as phospates and nitrates from polluting our rivers and lakes.

For years Ireland has had a poor record in ensuring that houses are treating their wastewater properly. The new wastewater inspection scheme will seek to address this. With this scheme in mind, Fergus believes that his research can play an important role in improving Ireland's wastewater treatment performance. This will help protect Ireland's environment and drinking water supplies.

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