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Abd-Alla Receives Society of Women Engineers Boston Scholarship

June 7, 2019

Northeastern Student Areeg Abd-Alla received a 2019 Society of Women Engineers Boston Chapter Scholarship, an award given to women studying engineering and engineering technology. Abd-Alla, a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is pursuing a BS/MS in Environmental Engineering and expects to graduate in 2021.

Abd-Alla was drawn to studying environmental engineering because of the profession’s ability to make an impact on important societal issues. “Some of the biggest global challenges we face are lack of universal access to clean water, the effects of pollution (on land, in the sea, and in the air), and climate change. These challenges are caused by the damage people have done to the environment, and we need to find a way to overcome these challenges and remedy our damage to the planet,” said Abd-Alla. “I’ve always been very passionate about these issues and environmental issues in general. I see environmental engineering as a method of applying critical thinking, science, and problem solving in order to overcome these challenges and ensure that people and planet thrive together.”

The SWE Boston Scholarship is not the first award that she has won. In summer of 2018, Abd-Alla received a research grant from the National Science Foundation to work with Associate Professor Aron Stubbins in his laboratory. As a member of his research group, she studies dissolved organic matter in rivers and its relationship to microbial communities. “The goal of this project is to understand how microbial respiration in rivers affects the global carbon cycle,” she said.

Currently, Abd-Alla is on her first co-op with Barletta Engineering in Somerville, where she is working in construction. Barletta is building a large culvert for the city, which will integrate into the existing storm water drainage system. After graduation, Abd-Alla is interested in potentially working in water treatment and access or pollution remediation.