Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Graduate Concentration in Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering is an interdisciplinary degree-granting program engaging faculty from departments in both engineering and the physical sciences, and managed by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Environmental Engineering addresses the development of strategies to control anthropogenic emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere, waterways, and terrestrial environment; the remediation of polluted natural systems; the design of technologies to treat waste; energy efficiency and environmentally responsible power generation; and the evaluation of contaminant fate in the environment. The Environmental Engineering discipline is interdisciplinary and requires a curriculum that provides students with an understanding of fundamentals in air- and water-quality sciences, energy, contaminant fate and transport, and design concepts for pollutant emission control and treatment.

Environmental Engineering includes environmental air and water chemistry, environmental microbiology, combustion technologies, aerosol science, transport phenomena, reactor theory, unit operations and systems design, physical, chemical, and biological processes in relation to water and wastewater treatment, water reuse, pollutant fate and transport, waste disposal, the ecology of natural waters, mathematical modeling, energy systems, soil physics, fluid mechanics, hydrology, and meteorology. Another central theme is global climate change and energy, particularly in relation to carbon footprints and alternative fuels. Interdisciplinary research endeavors commonly bridge many of these different subjects and a current focus is maintained on new and emerging technologies. Curriculum objectives have also been set to maintain a balance between the depth and breadth of program scope for each student.


Adeyemi Adeleye
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara
Water chemistry; environmental applications of nanotechnology; fate and effects of emerging contaminants (engineered nanomaterials, pharmaceuticals, and microplastics); nanotoxicity; water and wastewater treatment

Amir AghaKouchak
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Stuttgart, Germany
Modeling hydroclimate extremes, remote sensing of environment, hydrologic processes, and climate change and variability

Tirtha Banerjee
Assistant Professor (effective July 2019)
Ph.D. Duke University
Atmospheric boundary layer dynamics, turbulent fluid dynamics, land/water/vegetation - atmosphere interaction, wildfires, vegetation dynamics, carbon and water cycles, hydrology, wetlands and terrestrial aquatic interfaces

Jack Brouwer
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Advanced energy technologies, fuel cells, energy sources and pollutant emission

Donald Dabdub
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
Mathematical modeling of urban and global air pollution, dynamics of atmospheric aerosols, secondary organic aerosols, impact of energy generation on air quality, chemical reactions at gas-liquid interfaces

Kristen Davis
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Stanford University
Coastal ocean circulation, cross-shelf exchange, benthic-pelagic coupling, stratified-shear flows, internal waves, boundary layers, and turbulent flows

Steve Davis
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Stanford University
Energy technology and policy; emissions and energy embodied in international trade; life-cycle assessment; interactions of agriculture and climate; human drivers of greenhouse gas emissions; and socioeconomic inertia of climate change

Russell Detwiler
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Colorado
Groundwater hydrology, contaminant fate and transport, subsurface process modeling, groundwater/surface-water interaction

Derek Dunn-Rankin
Professor Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Combustion, optical particle sizing, particle aero-dynamics, laser diagnostics and spectroscopy

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Distinguished Professor
Ph.D. University of Florida
Hydrology and geomorphology with emphasis on modeling the interactions between the atmosphere, land, and the terrestrial environment at plot to large-watershed scale

Stanley Grant
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology
Environmental engineering, inland and coastal water quality, coagulation and filtration of colloidal contaminants, environmental microbiology

Kuo-lin Hsu
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Arizona
Hydrologic modeling; artificial neural network applications in hydrology

C. Sunny Jiang
Professor & Chair
Ph.D. University of South Florida
Water pollution microbiology, environmental biotechnology, aquatic microbial ecology

Phu Nguyen
Assistant Adjunct Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Irvine
Flood warnings, global extreme satellite precipitation event database using object-oriented approaches, integrated system for global satellite precipitation and information, and global real-time satellite and crowdsourced precipitation observations for hydrologic and natural disaster management applications

Eric Rignot
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Southern California
Physical climate

Diego Rosso
Chair and Donald Bren Professor of Earth System Science; Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
Environmental process engineering, mass transfer, wastewater treatment, carbon- and energy-footprint analysis

G. Scott Samuelsen
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Energy, fuel cells, hydrogen economy, propulsion, combustion and environmental conflict; turbulent transport in complex flows, spray physics, NOx and soot formation, laser diagnostics and experimental methods; application of engineering science to practical propulsion and stationary systems; environmental ethics

Brett Sanders
Ph.D. University of Michigan
Environmental and computational fluid dynamics, water resources engineering

Jean-Daniel Saphores
Ph.D. Cornell University
Transportation economics, planning and policy, environmental and natural resource economics and policy, quantitative methods

Soroosh Sorooshian
Distinguished Professor
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
Hydrology, hydrometeorology and hydroclimate modeling, remote sensing, water sources management

Jasper Vrugt
Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of Amsterdam
Ecology, aerosol-cloud interactions, hydrometeorology, parallel computing, uncertainty quantification, data assimilation, parameter estimation, Bayesian statistics

Introduction to Program

Plans of Study

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Environmental Engineering

Russell Detwiler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Graduate Adviser 
(949) 824-7152 (Phone)
(949) 824-2117 (Fax)

Graduate Coordinator

April Heath
(949) 824-0584 (Phone) 
(949) 824-2117 (Fax)