The New York City Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) has awarded Harvard College senior Riju Agrawal ’13 the 2013 Colonel and Mrs. S. S. Dennis, III Scholarship in recognition of his hard work and dedication to research.
In a ceremony on April 26, Cherry A. Murray, dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), presented Agrawal with a certificate of accomplishment and a scholarship check for $1,000 from SAME.
The organization has more than 27,000 members and is dedicated to advancing individual technical knowledge and the collective engineering capabilities of governments, the uniformed services, and private industry in the interest of national defense.
As an engineering sciences concentrator in the S.B. program at SEAS, Agrawal completed a senior thesis while working in the laboratory of his adviser, Chad Vecitis, assistant professor of environmental engineering. Vecitis is known for his work using carbon nanotubes to develop extremely effective water filters.
Aiming to contribute to a lower-cost water filtration system for developing nations, Agrawal explored another material called carbon fabric, which would cost approximately 100 times less than the nanotubes but could not produce quite as fine-grained a filter. He created a triple-layer filter and tested it using water from Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Mass., and the Charles River, which runs through the Harvard campus.