Mónica Rodríguez Morris

MS student, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Faculty advisor: Andrea Hicks

Mónica Rodríguez MorrisMónica Rodríguez Morris is a master’s student studying Environmental Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico before coming to UW–Madison on an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship to be part of the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars community. She chose UW–Madison because she knew that her advisor, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Andrea Hicks, and her lab were a great fit for her. In addition, UW–Madison and the Eagle Heights Community also provided wonderful opportunities for her son.

Mónica’s research focuses on sustainability and life cycle assessments (LCA). Specifically, she works on the impact of bioplastics on solid waste management infrastructure and the environment. Degradable plastics have been proposed as a solution to plastic waste generation, but they also have unintended consequences, Monica said. “My research evaluates different criteria, in particular how consumers interact with different bioplastics and ultimately dispose of them, and weighs the alternatives to conventional plastics,” she said. She has received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for her work.