Amy Mueller Named a Winner of the Schmidt Marine Technology Partners Coastal Pollution Challenge
Amy Mueller, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Marine and Environmental Sciences, was named one of four winners of the inaugural Coastal Pollution Challenge from Schmidt Marine Technology Partners. The Coastal Pollution Challenge was created “to support the development of innovative solutions to reduce nutrient pollution plaguing the globe’s waterways,” according to their website.
Nutrient pollution is a major threat to marine environments. Such pollution can lead to blooms of microorganisms that subsequently impact aquatic flora and fauna by leading to deoxygenated zones. Furthermore, nutrient imbalances can promote the growth and survival of undesirable species. Mueller’s project builds off her ongoing research enabling nutrient sensing in aquatic environments, in which she and Professor Joseph Ayers are developing metallic ink printed miniature sensors to monitor imbalances in offshore closed-pen fish farms. This new project has “added on innovation that combines hardware development and data science,” said Mueller. The sensors will be adapted for their new coastal monitoring application to report a wider range of parameters.
To increase the accuracy and value of the information collected, Mueller and her team will deploy multiple co-located sensors in a formation commonly known as an “electronic tongue”. Her expertise in adapting machine-learning algorithms for use in environmental chemistry applications will allow her to turn the data collected by the electronic tongue into useful information for policymakers.
Schmidt Marine Technology Partners is a program from the Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his family. The program “funds the development of novel technologies that solve ocean problems.” Amy Mueller is an expert in the intersection of environmental chemistry, electrical engineering, and computer science. Those interested in this line of research should consider the Data and Systems concentration for our MS and PhD in Civil Engineering programs.