November 24, 2020
Hometown: Masaka, Uganda
Advisor: Teng Zeng
Joseph Wasswa seeks to understand the effects of rain acidification that happened as a result coal combustion in the last century affects the formation of oxidants in lake water. The research includes extensive field work in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains and biogeochemical analysis in the environmental engineering labs at Syracuse University. His novel approach can be applied to model, predict and eventually control the future environmental impacts of current industrial developments and climate change.
Wasswa’s intellectual curiosity is insatiable: “What I like most about research is that each step forward creates another challenge and so, you have to go farther!” From his advisor, Dr. Zeng, he also learned to be meticulous about research design, sample collection and analysis. Another important set of skills he points out is learning to use a wide range of advanced instrumentation, such as Suntest XLS+(II) solar simulator, HPLC, HPIC, Spectrofluorometer, ICP-MS, and LC-MS/MS.
The sense of community, the energy on campus, and the wealth of resources for graduate students were some of the top reasons Wasswa chose Syracuse University for his PhD education.
“It feels like family. Faculty are passionate, approachable and supportive, we all know each other.”
Socially, he also gets together with African students on campus, Ugandan families in Syracuse, and the Catholic community at his church. Another favorite pastime for Wasswa and his friends is going to SU basketball games in the Dome.