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Westminster College Associate Professor Selected to Participate in EPA Workshop on Hydraulic Fracturing

Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster associate professor of chemistry presented research at the U.S. EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Research Technical Workshop on Analytical Chemical Methods in Raleigh, N.C., in February.

Boylan presented "Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for Rapid Monitoring of Metals in Produced Water and its Precipitates." The work is a result of a collaborative undergraduate research project involving chemistry major Danielle Murtagh. The presentation also featured results from other undergraduate chemistry majors doing research on hydraulic fracturing with Boylan, including Lance Jubic, Brittany Majors, Gavin Steadman and Tyler Umstead.

Murtagh, a senior, is a daughter of Timothy Murtagh and a graduate of Mars Area High School.

Jubic, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, is a son of Gregory and Mary Jubic of Leechburg and a graduate of Kiski Area High School.

Majors, a sophomore, is a daughter of Mark and Debbie Majors of Wampum and a graduate of Lincoln High School.

Steadman, a senior, is a son of Jerry and Wanda Steadman and a graduate of Corry Area High School.

Umstead, a junior, is a son of Daniel Umstead of Butler and a graduate of Slippery Rock Area High School.

Approximately 50 professionals attended the workshop, including scientists from oil and gas companies, analytical industries, academia and government. The goal of the workshop was to bring experts together to discuss the challenges and real-world scenarios experienced with the chemical analysis of water associated with hydraulic fracturing. The workshop included short oral presentations, a poster presentation, and a significant amount of discussion about key topics related to that goal.

Boylan also was invited to present her research at the College of Wooster. She presented "Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: Challenges and Applications in Frack Water Treatment" for the chemistry department's seminar program in January.

Boylan, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2001, earned a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.

Contact Boylan at (724) 946-6293 or email for additional information.

Dr. Helen Boylan and student Danielle Murtagh collaborate on hydraulic fracturing research.