2018 Simon Karecki Award
The Simon Karecki Award is given in memory of Dr. Simon Karecki, who was a student in our Engineering Research Center program and an SRC Fellow. Simon made major contributions in the early years of this Center through his pioneering research in developing novel manufacturing technology for reduction of emission global warming gases in semiconductor manufacturing. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, friends and colleagues of Simon came together and created the Simon Karecki Fellowship Fund in his memory to encourage other talented young researchers in the pursuit of environmental research.
SRC is very fortunate that each year one or both of Simon’s parents are able to attend the award ceremony to present the award. This year Anna Karecki was in attendance. Both Anna and Richard Karecki have long been dedicated to the ERC program. They continue to consider all the recipients of this award to be part of their family and always welcome opportunities to engage with those who are as passionate about what they do as their Simon was.
The 2018 Simon Karecki Award recipient is Xi-Zhi Niu. Xi-Zhi Niu is a postdoctoral associate in the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Arizona, working with Professors Jim Field and Reyes Sierra. Xi-Zhi obtained his B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from Northeastern University in China and his master degree in Environmental Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He then worked in Al Ain in United Arab Emirates for a year, and then joined the Curtin Water Quality Research Centre in Perth, Australia, where he completed his PhD degree in 2018.
Xi-Zhi has made important contributions in several topics such as the aquatic photochemical fate of antibiotics, characterization of natural organic matter, and solar disinfection. His research excellence is demonstrated by 12 papers (3 from his master and 9 from his PhD) published, his experience of interdisciplinary collaborations, and oral presentations in a variety of international conferences. Additionally, Xi-Zhi is recipient of various competitive awards including undergraduate Excellent Student Award, the KAUST discovery fellowship, and Water Research Australia Research Fellowship.
Xi-Zhi has provided service for organizations concerned with the environment. This includes volunteering service at local environmental monitoring stations in China, his participation to Water Research Australia Student Consortium, and research visits to environmental research groups across the globe.