Dr. Bartelt-Hunt Awarded Funding for Environmental Research

April 14, 2011

Congratulations to Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, assistant professor of civil engineering, for being awarded funding for the project, “Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Bridge Deck Runoff” from the Nebraska Department of Roads. Bartelt-Hunt’s unique proposal was chosen as a highly prioritized project for the state.

Highways and bridge surfaces are often identified as major contributors to stormwater runoff. While there is some information available on roadway runoff, few studies have focused on bridge deck runoff. There is no information available regarding the impacts of bridge deck runoff on receiving waters in Nebraska. Due to the cost, maintenance, and design issues associated with implementing structural controls for bridge deck runoff, it is important to develop a better understanding of the relationship between bridge deck runoff and potential impacts to receiving streams. This project will evaluate the quality of bridge deck runoff and determine its effect on surface water bodies in Nebraska.

Dr. Bartelt-Hunt’s latest research project has potential for major impact on new bridge construction projects and retrofits. Development of design criteria for when protective measures are necessary to protect in-stream water quality and aquatic life would provide guidance in construction of new bridges or retrofits of existing bridges across the state.

Dr. Bartelt-Hunt received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and completed her post-doctoral training at North Carolina State University under the direction of Dr. Morton Barlaz. She has been an assistant professor at UNL since 2006. She was the recipient of the 2010 Edgerton Innovation Award, the 2010 UNL College of Engineering Multidisciplinary Research Award, and the 2011 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education. Her research interests are focused on the physicochemical fate of contaminants including pharmaceuticals, hormones and prions in soil and water systems and contaminant fate and transport in landfills.