Maryam Shafahi, associate professor of mechanical engineering, opened the university's summer seminar series by sharing highlights of her aquaponics project at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.
Besides being efficient and environmentally friendly, aquaponic systems showcase many engineering concepts and elements including piping, heating, structural analysis and controls. As sustainable food production system, aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics -- growing fish and plants together in a symbiotic environment. The mutually beneficial cycle uses nutrient-rich waste from fish to fertilize plants. The plant bed functions as a biofilter for water contaminated with fish manure, algae and decomposing fish feed. The sustainable farming advantages of this system are unique. It conserves water by minimizing water exchange, provides organic plant fertilization, uses plants as natural filtration, and requires less water quality monitoring.
Shafahi's seminar is made possible through a collaboration between the College of Business, the McNairs Scholars Program, and Achieve Scholars Program, and the Office of Undergraduate Research. The series allows Cal Poly Pomona faculty, students, and academic and industry speakers to share their research with the community. Seminars are held every Wednesday at 12 p.m. at the University Libray (Bldg. 15) in Room 1807. The series will conclude with the 4th Annual Creative Activities & Research Symposium on Thursday, Aug. 16.