In this installment of the Meet the Fall 2021 RAPID® Interns spotlight series, we are highlighting two interns in the Fall 2021 program. Scroll down to learn more about Yelyzaveta (Liza) Bachynska, a Senior at University of Arkansas; and Varinia Felix, a 5th semester Ph.D. candidate at University of Arizona.

Yelyzaveta (Liza) Bachynska

Yelyzaveta (Liza) Bachynska, a senior at University of Arkansas, is working on a research project "Integrated Electrocoagulation-Membrane Distillation-Crystallization for Treating HydraulicRa Fracturing Produced Water" in Professor Ranil Wickramasinghe's lab. Liza's project aims to assess the feasibility of using integrated electrocoagulation-membrane distillation-crystallization system for water and minerals recovery from shale gas produced water (PW). The overall objective of the research is to achieve high recovery rates of water and minerals from gas shale PW. Integrating EC-MDC addresses the issue of membrane scaling and wetting, providing the long-term durability of membrane in membrane-distillation unit. 

What are your career aspirations?

Upon graduation, I intend to pursue career opportunities in wastewater engineering services. I aspire to seek efficient and environmentally sustainable solutions to challenges associated with wastewater treatment and management.  

What are your thoughts of the RAPID Intern Program so far?

RAPID Intern Program does an excellent job educating young engineers on the topic of process intensification (PI), and how the application of principles of PI in process and equipment design can bring significant improvements in terms of process efficiency, environmental footprint, improved process safety, and lower capital and operating expenses. The program challenged the way I viewed process design and helped me gain a new outlook on the subject. 

Varinia Felix

Varinia Felix, a 5th semester Ph.D. student at University of Arizona, is working on a research project "A Hybrid Optical Technology for Concentrate Management" in Professor Kerri Hickenbottom's lab. Varinia is performing Techno-Economic and Life Cycle Assessments for conventional inland concentrate management systems compared to a novel approach: “Solar powered Ozone Membrane Distillation” which maximizes water recovery and minimizes resource waste.

What are your career aspirations?

My goal is to work in consulting for public and private sector institutions focused on increasing resource utilization and scale up applicability of emerging water treatment technologies. I enjoy being part of projects that tackle issues from a holistic approach focusing on technical functionality, global applicability, economic feasibility and long term environmental sustainability. 

What are your thoughts of the RAPID Intern Program so far?

I think the RAPID program is a great resource to learn about process intensification. The atmosphere of the program fosters peer collaboration and professional development. Mentors encourage us to look into research from different perspectives which will ultimately move towards engineering solutions that are modular, transferable, efficient and cleaner. Moreover, these solutions will aid to improve chemical and environmental engineering processes that are of vital importance for continuous technologic and human development.