The Environmental Sensors Lab develops new sensors, instruments, and signal processing strategies to optimize our ability to study the natural and built environments. Our interdisciplinary team brings together engineers and scientists with different interests, perspectives, and expertise to tackle important challenges in science, remediation, energy, and manufacturing processes: characterizing nutrients in natural systems at high spatial and temporal frequency, enabling next-generation waste water treatment strategies, facilitating online controls for distributed renewable energy systems, and real-time process outflow water quality monitoring. We are also looking at spatial distribution on of air pollutants and connection of these patterns to the built environment, transportation modalities, green infrastructure, and other policy decisions.
In these projects we combine a deep understanding of environmental chemistry and collaborative process characterization with unique use of embedded systems, electronic and electrochemical sensors, wireless networking, signal processing, machine learning, and closed-loop controls. The lab has both an electronics/sensors development space, housed at the Northeastern Marine Science Center in Nahant, MA, and a chemistry lab (general chemistry and trace-metal clean) on Northeastern’s Boston campus, welcoming contributions from many dimensions of expertise in tackling these challenges!
New research results!
Preliminary results of our study of the environmental conditions experience by riders of the MBTA light rail services in Boston Metro area are now available! Data linked to maps and rail line routes were presented at the 2020 Boston Area Research Initiative Conference and can be explored through our online portal here.
The lab is currently recruiting students for the following positions:
– [HIRING IMMEDIATELY] PhD student RA position in air quality sensors and machine learning for environmental health (exposure) measurements in environmental justice communities: Working as part of a collaborative team across multiple departments and universities, this student will focus on design and construction of air sensor modules, data analytics for air quality and associated GIS/location information, and working with a team to answer critical questions at the intersection of mobility and environmental health. More information on this 3-year NSF funded project here. There may be opportunities for MS thesis, report, or other short-term projects associated with this project – interested students should reach out to the PI via email to discuss.
– [HIRING IMMEDIATELY] PhD student RA position in machine learning and field testing of sensor arrays to support methane abatement and recovery systems to improve sustainability practices of a range of industrial applications: This project is in collaboration with a highly interdisciplinary team at MIT, will include working with novel sensor arrays, building field-deployable sensor housings and data acquisition systems, and developing, training, and testing machine learning and/or other data analytics approaches to leveraging sensor array data for real-time controls of methane abatement systems being developed by the MIT team. There may be opportunities for MS thesis, report, or other short-term projects associated with this project – interested students should reach out to the PI via email to discuss.
– [RECRUITING IMMEDIATELY] Monitoring wastewater processes using spectrometric methods: A MS thesis project is available on the topic of wastewater process monitoring. This project involves approximately twice monthly visits to a treatment facility in Worchester, MA, working with sensor instrumentation, and data analytics. Preference for students who can work on this project through Spring 2022. This is an unpaid position that can be configured as an MS thesis, MS independent study, or a volunteer research opportunity. Note: Work Study funding can support this position for eligible students.
The Environmental Sensing Lab also has evolving opportunities for research at the undergraduate and masters level nearly every semester. For more information about 4-6-12 month projects students should contact the PI directly.