Hello Everyone!

Hello Everyone!

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Julianne Troiano // 04 October 2015 //  #GoingGreen 

My name is Julianne Troiano and I am the second virtual intern from the United States working on the Going Green project. Along with Brandon, I will be contributing to this blog by writing about sustainability efforts in the United States. Learning about and discussing the environment, sustainability, and current affairs is really important to me and I am excited to be a part of this team. I look forward to working with all of you and sharing this learning experience!

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I was born and raised on the beautiful south shore of Long Island, which is just across the river from New York City. I discovered my love for chemistry during high school where I had the greatest teacher, Ms. Kinlan, who always kept us on our toes with fun demonstrations like blowing up "evil" green gummy brears. blowing up “evil” green gummy bears I discovered my love for research during my time as an undergraduate at Fordham University in New York City while working for Professor Jon Friedrich studying the elements (iron, oxygen, silicon, and many more) found in meteorites—one time we had a meteorite sample that was so rare, we were not allowed to take it out of its container! Now I am a graduate student in chemistry at Northwestern University, which is located on Lake Michigan in Illinois. I work in the lab of Professor Franz Geiger studying how nanomaterials interact with the environment. Nanomaterials are tiny chunks of materials (around 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair!) that have unique properties that can be used to improve technologies from solar panels to water purification to batteries (and many, many more), but we don’t know much about what happens if nanomaterials are exposed to the environment. The group that I work with hopes to be able to predict how nanomaterials will behave in the environment and use this information to create nanomaterials that are sustainable before utilizing them in technologies—our group calls this “benign by design.”

Julianne Troiano

Julianne in the research lab (photo credit: Julianne Troiano)

Nanomaterials may sound very technical, but we encounter them in our everyday lives and they could play a huge role in sustainability because of the unique properties they possess. Through these posts I strive to make the science of sustainability accessible to everyone, but also challenge myself to consider the political and economic angles of each topic. I am very excited to learn with you throughout the year and I am happy to chat by email, phone, or video, so please feel free to contact me through the Going Green organizers. Also, if there is a topic, technology, or news story that you would like to see a post about, just let us know!

Let’s learn together!

Julianne Troiano is a graduate student at the Center for Chemical Innovation on Sustainable Nanotechnology (CSN) at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Julianne is interested in environmental science and has experience as a blogger (www.sustainable-nano.com). She recently travelled to Iceland to study glaciers and alternative energy and will share her experiences with us.