Civil engineering major Brian Peacock ’12 (Haddonfield, N.J.) is fascinated with the field of ecological engineering, which uses artificial ecosystems to treat and use waste. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the field and is preparing research on wetlands that will become his senior honors thesis.
For his dedication to environmental research, Peacock has received a 2011 Udall Scholarship. He is among 80 scholars in the nation selected on the basis of commitment to careers in the environment, leadership potential, and academic achievement. Scholarship recipients receive $5,000 for educational expenses.
Earlier this school year, Peacock was awarded an Environmental Protection Agency-Greater Research Opportunity fellowship, which provides funding for research supplies, tuition assistance, a stipend, and a three-month internship with the EPA this summer.
Peacock believes Lafayette’s undergraduate opportunities and one-on-one attention from faculty have helped him develop the skills needed to secure both of his honors.
“The research facilities are outstanding and the small size of the school has enabled me to access all of the facilities with unprecedented ease,” says Peacock. “It has been great to work closely with professors and have the freedom to explore my own ideas.”
Peacock studied abroad last spring in New Zealand, where he worked with Dan Hikuroa, community earth systems science programmes manager at the Institute for Earth Science and Engineering in Auckland. Peacock used geographic information systems to develop a riparian buffer placement tool, which employs data to assess hydrological, ecological, pollution, economic, social, and cultural merits to rank sites for restoration and preservation. He presented the project at the 25th National Conference on Undergraduate Research.
He has also collaborated with Art Kney, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, in research on constructed wetlands. Their work was presented at the 2010 ASCE World Environmental & Water Resources Congress and published in the conference proceedings. He previously conducted research with Kney and other students on nitrogen cycling in municipal waste compost.
Peacock is a member of the College’s Sustainability Committee, Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection, and the College composting project, and is president of Lafayette’s Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.
See a list of recent Lafayette recipients of national and international scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and post-graduate study. For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.