Sina Saneiyan
Near Surface Research Award Winner 2017

I was born to an Iranian family on 17 November 1988. Like most people, I was lucky enough to successfully pass elementary and guidance school. Preliminary knowledge of science during this time provoked an interest in science in me. Therefore, I chose to major in mathematics and physics in high school. Meanwhile I was getting more and more interested in environment and issues related to it. Hence, I continued my studies in Mining engineering field, where I could pursue both of my interests (i.e. science and environment) in a practical manner. After I have finished my college, despite all job offers I have had, I just found myself suited for Geophysical Exploration; in which I could go to unknown districts to explore new deposits and mining potentials and figure out related environmental issues with mining in those areas. Soon enough I realized, a college degree cannot help me out enough, so I continued my academic career as a Master student. However, I noticed to be more detailed on a subject, one should continue to the end! Therefore, right after my masters was done, I applied for PhD of environmental sciences at Rutgers University – Newark, where I knew an eager and well known board of faculty were working on interesting near surface geophysical methods to overcome the challenges of environmental issues. 

I chose an interesting topic to do the research during my PhD. A topic in which near surface geophysics, environmental sciences and engineering, all three interests of mine, are present at the same time.

Currently I am working on monitoring bio-mediated soil strengthening by geophysical methods. Bio-mediated soil strengthening is an advanced and novel method in which common soil borne microbes will be stimulated with environmental friendly chemicals to enhance soil stiffness. Currently engineers use methods that are harmful to environment and mostly, expensive to apply. Furthermore, a challenging issue is how to measure the soil stiffness during the process without disturbing the subsurface.

By adapting geophysics as a monitoring technique for the purpose of imaging subsurface, we will be able to monitor the subsurface activities during the process of soil strengthening. The benefit of geophysics and bio-mediated soil strengthening combination is directly helpful to environment. Also, geophysical methods will minimally disturb the environment and will get us a better spatial and temporal image of subsurface.

Sina Saneiyan
PhD candidate and SEG student chapter president
Rutgers University - Newark


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