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Environmental Engineering

The Environmental Engineering Group includes a unique blend of engineering and science, and provides students with a strong foundation in scientific fundamentals and engineering analyses. Two research themes studied by this group are (1) Biofilms and the Environment. Biofilms play key roles in many environmental and engineered systems, and research is needed to prevent harmful biofilms (e.g., membrane-filtration fouling, biocorrosion, human infection) and promote useful biofilms (e.g., heavy-metal-sequestration, biofilms in engineered bioreactors). Based on laboratory experiments and mathematical modeling, the group investigates biofilms at scales ranging from individual bacteria to full-scale reactors. (2) Water Resources and the Environment. The development, protection, and management of water resources for natural and man-made environments are among the most urgent challenges facing humanity. The group addresses this challenge through study of fundamental processes in the aquatic environment (e.g., the role of natural organic matter (NOM) in natural aquatic ecosystems, the movement of chemicals and colloid through sediments, the interaction of microbes with contaminants and mineral surfaces) combined with application to large-scale engineered systems (e.g., the functioning of wetlands, environmental remediation, water resource development/management in developed and developing countries).

Environmental Engineering