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

PhD, MS

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.

MEng

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

Primary Faculty

Michael Howard Bergin

Michael Howard Bergin

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: 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...

Marc Deshusses

Marc Deshusses

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: 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...

P. Lee Ferguson

P. Lee Ferguson

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: 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...

Claudia K. Gunsch

Claudia K. Gunsch

Theodore Kennedy Associate Professor

Research Interests: 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...

Heileen Hsu-Kim

Heileen Hsu-Kim

Mary Milus Yoh and Harold L. Yoh, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Aquatic chemistry and geochemistry, trace element environmental chemistry, nanogeoscience, mercury biogeochemistry, water-particle surface processes.

J. Jeffrey Peirce

J. Jeffrey Peirce

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: 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 his...

David E. Schaad

David E. Schaad

Professor of the Practice of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: 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,...

Mark Wiesner

Mark Wiesner

James B. Duke Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Membrane processes, nanostructured materials, transport and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, colloidal and interfacial processes, and environmental systems analysis

Secondary Faculty

Richard T. Di Giulio

Richard T. Di Giulio

Professor of Environmental Toxicology

David E. Hinton

David E. Hinton

Nicholas Professor of Environmental Quality in the Nicholas School of the Environment

Joel Meyer

Joel Meyer

Associate Professor of Environmental Genomics in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Heather M. Stapleton

Heather M. Stapleton

Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management

Avner Vengosh

Avner Vengosh

Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Adjunct Faculty

Melanie Auffan

Melanie Auffan

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Jean-Yves Bottero

Jean-Yves Bottero

Adjunct Professor

Research Interests: Physical chemistry of organic, inorganic, and heterogeneous contaminants; physicochemical properties of surfaces; mechanisms of coagulation and flocculation; water and wastewater treatment

Desiree Louise Plata

Desiree Louise Plata

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: The focus of my work is 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...

Jerome C. Rose

Jerome C. Rose

Adjunct Associate Professor

Research Interests: 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.

Daniel Vallero

Daniel Vallero

Adjunct Professor in the Pratt School of Engineering

Research Interests: 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.