IDA announces scholarship program winners

Students from Brazil and Singapore are this year’s winners of the Channabasappa Memorial Scholarship awarded by the International Desalination Association (IDA).

The students, who will receive an educational grant of up to US$ 10,000, were Gabriela Amorim de Figueiredo Gadêlha of Brazil and Sim Siang Tze Victor of Singapore.

Gabriela Amorim de Figueiredo Gadêlha is pursuing her PhD in the Centre for Sustainable Water Engineering, Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Dr Nick Hankins. The title of her thesis is An Integrated Approach to the Development of Novel Draw Solutions and Membranes for Low Energy Desalination and Water Reuse by Forward Osmosis.

In 2009, Gadêlha received a MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, where her major subject was environmental sanitation, discharge standards and sustainability. Previously, she earned a BSc in Environmental Management from the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology (IFPE) of Pernambuco, Brazil, where her focus was on environmental sanitation.

Her professional experience includes work as a Research Analyst at Global Water Intelligence (GWI) and an internship in Chemical Engineering at Oxford University, where she is researching The use of micellar enhanced ultrafiltration for the concentration and recycle of heavy metals in wastewater.

Sim Siang Tze Victor is a PhD Candidate at the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University under the supervision of Prof Anthony Fane. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with first class honors in Applied Chemistry in 2008 and has achieved various academic awards, including a scholarship by Ngee Ann Kongsi (Singapore) for his academic achievements.

Upon his graduation, Sim began his career in TECH Semiconductor Singapore as a photolithography process and equipment engineer and helped in investigating a current reticle haze problem and evaluating commercial solutions. He subsequently accepted a position in the Ministry of Finance in early 2009 to conduct strategic funding reviews and help establish policies for resource allocation by the Ministries. During his time there, he contributed significantly to the policy of “ensuring equitable distribution of budget surplus packages” as part of the MOF Finance Challenge 2009.

In late 2009, he became a researcher in the Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC), where he helped to develop an improved design for a novel sensor for water treatment. He has since been invited to be a co-inventor on the technology disclosure and patent for the sensor and will hold a consultancy position as a development engineer in Membrane Instruments and Technology Pte Ltd to assist in its commercialization.

Through the Channabasappa Memorial Scholarship Program, IDA awards scholarship grants of up to US$10,000 per calendar year to one or more graduate students studying engineering or science in preparation for a career in desalination or water technologies.

To be eligible, candidates must have graduated from an accredited university, ranked in the top 10% of their class in science or engineering, and be current members of IDA. Applicants are considered on the basis of undergraduate transcripts, references and motivation for a career in desalination or water technologies.

Candidates must also exhibit leadership and achievement potential. Four references are required, with at least one from an IDA director or member. The applications are reviewed by the IDA Scholarship Committee, which has at least two IDA members from universities.