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Civil engineering senior earns National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Marissa McDaid | Apr 22, 2019
Erin Milligan

Civil engineering senior earns National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Marissa McDaid | Apr 22, 2019

Ohio University senior Erin Milligan, a civil engineering student in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, has been awarded a $34,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics pursuing a research-based master’s or doctoral degree. Milligan will pursue a Ph.D. in civil engineering at Virginia Tech.

“I’m incredibly honored to be selected and excited for the opportunities the fellowship opens up for my graduate research,” Milligan said. “I have many people to thank for their endless support – my parents, siblings, friends and professors – without whom I would not be where I am today.”

Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering Guy Riefler has advised Milligan’s undergraduate research in acid mine drainage (AMD) remediation, including work on a local pilot-scale plant project.

“These are extremely competitive awards and a dream for any starting graduate student to win,” Riefler said. “I am really excited for Erin and not surprised that she was able to pull it off.”

Milligan won the prestigious Udall Scholarship in 2018.

Russ College alumna and 2003 Udall Scholar Natalie Kruse Daniels, BSCE ’04, now an associate professor at OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, is also an AMD researcher at the university.

“I had the honor of being paired with Erin through the Women's Mentoring Program this year, and enjoyed supporting her as she applied for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and to graduate schools,” Kruse-Daniels said. “She is thoughtful and dedicated, and has a very, very bright future.”

Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Danny Che, who taught Milligan in his Fluid Mechanics and Applied Hydraulics and Hydrology courses, noted that she not only took a strong interest in her course work, but also in helping her classmates succeed.

“She’s one of the very best students I have ever had in my academic career,” Che said. “Erin is passionate about research in water resources and environmental issues. Her intellectual rigor, current knowledge and bright personality combined with further graduate research experience through the support of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program will undoubtedly be of benefit to the environmental engineering research community.”

Milligan joins Russ College 2018 NSF Graduate Research Fellows Josh Greenlee, BSCHE ’17, and Bert Neyhouse, BSCHE ’18.