Rising third-year chemical engineering majors David Lee of Yorktown, Va., and Geoffrey Burns of Concord, Mass., spent the summer at UVA Engineering in the lab with Associate Professor Bryan Berger working on finding a more effective and environmentally friendly way to treat harmful algal blooms.
“The most common treatment is copper sulfate, which is super toxic and essentially kills the algae and everything else living in the lake or other body of water,” Geoffrey said. “So we developed an enzyme that works to specifically target the algae and kill it without harming the other organisms in water.
“We’ve spent this summer researching the effects of the enzyme on different types of algae and finding ways to increase the enzyme’s buoyancy so that it can better target the algae that grow mainly on a body of water’s surface.”
When they were not doing research, their activities included picking peaches at Carter Mountain with friends.