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david zweig, new zealand, 2012-2013

Fulbright Year: 2012-2013
Country: New Zealand
Proposal Type: Research
Proposal Title: Analysis of Denitrifying Activity Response to Temperature in Denitrification Beds
UGA Major/Department: Environmental Chemistry, English
Degrees: B.A., 2012
Hometown: Fayetteville, AR

For a good portion of his college career, David Zweig was infatuated with, but hardly consumed by, the scientific research he conducted. When he finally convinced himself it was OK to pursue other non-research interests and career paths, he occasionally felt anxious moments with regard to his next step.

David also developed an entrepreneurial flair and he now sees how he can blend his research experience and business sense to create a very valuable resource.

“With the backing of an influential and science-oriented leader, I finally committed my interest in technology entrepreneurship that I had previously refused to embrace in any concrete way,” David said.

During his Fulbright year in New Zealand, David will study nitrogen management in groundwater with an eye on eventually establishing a company that combines his “instinctual scientific curiosity” with “that of execution and production in the business world.”

“…My project, quantifying how denitrification rates in denitrifying bioreactors respond to temperature, fits seamlessly with my entrepreneurial plans,” he said. “My specific experience developing new parameters for bioreactor design will be extremely relevant to the agricultural and environmental engineering solutions that I will work to implement in the private sector.”

At the conclusion of his Fulbright year, David – who received a grant to attend the American Water Summit earlier this summer in Washington, DC -- will enroll in a graduate engineering program with plans to collaborate with MBA students in business plan competitions and, hopefully, start a company while still in school.

And it’s likely his interests in issues of science and commerce will continue to harmonize.

“Owning my own company one day seemed a natural way to implement my ideas in society,” he said. “At the same time, I still can’t imagine I will ever stop reveling in the discoveries that our curious species continuously makes about the world around us. Studying denitrification beds in New Zealand is fine way to bring these interests together.”

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