Diop jumpstarts research with Graduate Bridge Program

With the start of classes, graduate student Rasul Diop is just starting his coursework towards a Ph.D. but he was on campus long before the start of the new academic school year. Through the Purdue Graduate Bridge Program, an opportunity that allows incoming grad students to take part in funded summer research and mentoring, he was able to get a jump start on his graduate research.

Diop’s research covered biochar, charcoal produced from plant matter, and its ability to be utilized for the sorption of organic compounds, including many toxic substances, from different mediums (water, soil, etc.). Once these properties are studied and tested properly, the matter can be used as an inexpensive filtration method in polluted waters.

EEE graduate student, Rasul Diop stands with his research poster at the poster session at the conclusion of the Graduate Bridge Program.

Looking for a means to have a better understanding of research at the graduate level is what drew him to the Bridge Program. “This is a program I would recommend to all first-year graduate students,” said Diop. “It lets you interact with others in and outside your major and it brings in other students from around the country and the world.

Diop initially discovered his passion for the environment in high school and was looking for a way to combine this with his creativity and thirst for knowledge. “I knew I wanted to be an environmental engineer, but I also didn’t want to narrow myself to just one area, said Diop. “I went on to pursue a Bachelors in civil engineering to allow myself to be more marketable and versatile. As I got closer to my senior year, I realized that I did not know a great deal about environmental engineering, so I decided I would go to graduate school to further my understanding.”

Diop is part of the Ecological Sciences and Engineering program which is an interdisciplinary graduate program at Purdue.  He is working with faculty in EEE to advance toward receiving his degree.

For more information on the Graduate Bridge Program, please visit the Office of Graduate Diversity Initiatives website.