CEINT mesocosm facility

Environmental Health Engineering

Just as the environment plays a critical role in human health, human activities affect the health of ecosystemsand these two entities are intimately interconnected. Duke's research in environmental health engineering addresses the consequences of society’s production and use of energy and materials, emphasizing approaches to protecting the health of human populations and predicting, monitoring and managing impacts on air, water and other global cycles.

We work closely with Duke's Nicholas School of Environment in numerous research and educational initiatives.

Students securing samples from a Trucha fish caught in Pongo

Research Areas

  • Contaminant transport and transformation
  • Environmental sensing
  • Environmental implications of emerging materials
  • Microbiome engineering
  • Environmental toxicology and adaption
  • Data analytics for environment and health
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Atmospheric transport and chemistry
  • Waste-to-energy and resource recovery
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Novel technologies for air and water quality
  • Geo-health

MAJOR centers & initiatives

Duke's externally funded research centers and training programs in environmental health engineering include:

 

Related Study Opportunities

PhD in Environmental Engineering

Offers study tracks in:

MS in Environmental Engineering

Offers study tracks in:

MEng in Environmental Engineering

Duke's MEng in Environmental Engineering offers concentrations in:

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

MEng in Risk Engineering

Duke's MEng in Risk Engineering offers a concentration in Environment and Population Health

Graduate Certificate & Training Programs

Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program (ITEHP)

Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM)

NanoHEAT (Cooperative Training Program in Nanomaterials Hazard and Exposure Assessment Traineeships)

Undergraduate Research

Duke offers several BSE degree programs for students interested in studying and conducting research in environmental health engineering:

Duke Engineering also offers summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) for students enrolled at other institutions.

Primary Faculty

Ana P. Barros

Ana P. Barros

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation; remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards; computational environmental fluid...

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...

Fred K. Boadu

Fred K. Boadu

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: My research seek to develop an understanding of how the engineering, environmental and petrophysical properties of porous media (soils, fractured rock, biological tissues) affect measurable geophysical responses, and subsequently develop methodologies by which these properties...

Mark Edward Borsuk

Mark Edward Borsuk

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems; Bayesian network modeling with regular application to environmental and human health regulation and decision making; novel approaches to climate change assessment, combining...

Andrew Bragg

Andrew Bragg

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Fundamental and applied problems in fluid dynamics, especially turbulence, and its role in environmental systems.

David Carlson

David Carlson

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Machine learning, predictive modeling, health data science, statistical neuroscience

Nathaniel Chaney

Nathaniel Chaney

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Hydrology, Earth system science, soil science, ecology, geomorphology, numerical modeling, high performance computing, machine learning, environmental data delivery and data assimilation

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...

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...

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...

Christine Hendren

Christine Hendren

Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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.

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Zbigniew J. Kabala

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Stochastic and deterministic theory of fluid flow and contaminant transport in saturated and unsaturated heterogeneous porous media, theory of related measurements, field and laboratory studies in subsurface hydrogeology, stochastic fields and processes, numerical and analytical...

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...

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

Sally Kleberg Professor of Environmental Toxicology

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division

Research Interests: River processes (hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, ecology) River policy (Clean Water Act, hydropower relicensing, large river management)

David E. Hinton

David E. Hinton

Nicholas Professor of Environmental Quality

Dana E. Hunt

Dana E. Hunt

Assistant Professor of Microbial Ecology

Marc A. Jeuland

Marc A. Jeuland

Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Prasad S. Kasibhatla

Professor in the Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy

Research Interests: Atmospheric chemistry, Regional and Global Modeling and Atmospheric chemical data analysis

Joel Meyer

Joel Meyer

Truman and Nellie Semans/Alex Brown and Sons Associate Professor of Molecular Environmental Toxicology

Curtis J. Richardson

Curtis J. Richardson

John O. Blackburn Professor

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 in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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

Dwayne Elias

Dwayne Elias

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Thilo Hofmann

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Hydrogeology, applied geology, colloids, modeling, inorganic and organic pollutants.

Amilcare Porporato

Amilcare Porporato

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Near-wall turbulence, nonlinear analysis of hydrologic time series, stochastic soil moisture dynamics and water balance, soil-atmosphere interaction, and ecohydrology, complexity in the environment, sustainable use of soil and water resources.

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 Department of Civil and Environmental 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.

Emeritus Faculty

Miguel A. Medina

Miguel A. Medina

Profesor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Contaminant transport hydrology, specifically modeling flow and mass transport across surface/subsurface interfaces and interactions; and international water issues which include transboundary contaminant transport.

J. Jeffrey Peirce

J. Jeffrey Peirce

Associate Professor Emeritus 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...