Robert Nerenberg

Professor Rob Nerenburg

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences






163 Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering

Areas of Interest

A major focus of the Nerenberg group is biofilms, especially membrane-biofilm reactors (MBfRs) and membrane biofouling. Biofilms are naturally forming aggregates of bacteria embedded in a self-produced gel layer known as extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Biofilms are the dominant form of microbial growth in most environments. They may play beneficial roles, such as biocatalysts in treatment processes, or detrimental roles, such membrane biofouling.

Bacteria behave differently when in biofilms. Understanding and these differences is key to managing biofilms, whether in the context of treatment processes, biofouling, or even clinical or dental systems

Professor Nerenberg’s group uses advanced experimental tools, molecular tools, and modeling to understand and predict the behavior of biofilms. Our research is helping develop the next generation of treatment technologies for sustainable water management.



Ph.D, Northwestern University, 2003
M.S., Civil Engineering, Wayne State University
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Buenos Aires, 1990