Environmental Process Engineering

Research with the Environmental Process Engineering (EPE) track of Environmental Engineering Scieince focuses on phenomena that govern the origin, transport, transformation, and impacts of contaminants in our environment and technologies for reducing the associated risks to human health and environment.

Research themes include:

  • chemical processes that affect the fate of trace metals in the environment,
  • transport and impacts of nanomaterials,
  • molecular biological methods to monitor and improve performance of engineered microbial systems;
  • biodegradation of organic contaminants,
  • development of advanced membrane processes for water treatment and reuse,
  • energy technologies and their impacts, and
  • discovering the properties, measurement and effects of ambient aerosols.

Opportunities for Graduate Study


Doctoral and Master of Science study in environmental engineering at Duke is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a broad slate of faculty in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment. Students have considerable flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests, but the core of this curriculum is described in the Environmental Process Engineering study track.


The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) in Environmental Engineering. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience. There are currently four areas of specialization offered within this degree program:

  • Environmental Engineering and Public Policy;
  • Environmental Process Engineering;
  • Ecohydrology and Environmental Fluid Dynamics; and
  • Environmental Nanotechnology

Environmental Process Engineering Faculty

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Aerosols are generated by a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. I am interested in the processes that emit, transform and deposit particulate matter. A current focus of my research is how particles in the atmosphere directly modify the surface radiation balance of the Earth. This is of...
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Deshusses' broad research interests are related to the design, analysis and application of processes for the bioremediation of contaminated air, water and soils. One area of on-going research is bioreactors for air pollution control. Results from this work have resulted among others in a better...
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental analytical chemistry and applications of high resolution mass spectrometry to trace organic contaminant analysis, environmental fate and effects of carbon nanomaterials in the aquatic environment, proteomics in environmental toxicology, and mechanisms of environmental endocrine...
Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Identifying genetic adaptation mechanisms resulting from anthropogenic contaminant exposure; developing biosensors capable of pathogen and contaminant detection in water and air; studying the impact of emerging contaminants on aquatic microbial ecology; and the development of novel techniques for...
Mary Milus Yoh and Harold L. Yoh, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Aquatic chemistry and geochemistry, trace element environmental chemistry, nanogeoscience, mercury biogeochemistry, water-particle surface processes.
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineering, cyberinfrastructure networks, sensors, geotropospheric interactions, engineering systems optimization. Professor Jeffrey Peirce has been a member of the environmental engineering faculty in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University for 28 years. He received...
Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Current research focuses on sustainable engineering, community development, water and wastewater treatment design, stormwater retention/detention and treatment design, hazardous waste remediation, urban hydrology, constructed wetland and stream restoration design, ecological stabilization,...
James B. Duke Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Membrane processes, nanostructured materials, transport and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, colloidal and interfacial processes, and environmental systems analysis

Secondary Environmental Process Engineering Faculty

Professor of Environmental Toxicology
Nicholas Professor of Environmental Quality in the Nicholas School of the Environment
Associate Professor of Environmental Genomics in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management
Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Adjunct Environmental Process Engineering Faculty

Postdoctoral Associate
Adjunct Professor
Physical chemistry of organic, inorganic, and heterogeneous contaminants; physicochemical properties of surfaces; mechanisms of coagulation and flocculation; water and wastewater treatment
Adjunct Assistant Professor
My research interests focus on improving the development of novel chemicals and engineered systems to include environmental objectives, along with traditional performance and cost metrics. In particular, I seek to (1) predict and mitigate environmental damage through physiochemical understanding of...
Adjunct Associate Professor
Relation between nanostructure of materials and their reactivity and toxicity. Characterization of the structure of ultra-small (colloids and molecular clusters), and/or amorphous and highly divided materials down to the molecular scale.
Adjunct Professor in the Pratt School of Engineering
Measurement and modeling research in environmental systems, including high throughput risk screening, tracer studies, development of pollution collection devices, and biosystem engineering. Life cycle analysis and sustainable design.