If you want to make a difference and chart a path that’s perfect for you, the University of Iowa’s Sustainable Water Development program has a lot to offer for both MS and Ph.D. students.
Our work addresses social justice issues like food, energy, and water for all. Students make a difference in communities with the greatest need. With a GENEROUS annual stipend, students enjoy the freedom to focus on their studies.
Tailor your program to your career goals with individualized coursework, ranging from chemistry to microbiology, informatics to entrepreurship and more.
We are attracting highly motivated and engaged students from all STEM disciplines, all backgrounds, and all life experiences. Student prepare to working with water-quality professionals in industry, government, research, and NGOs across the world.
Come work with us, and we will help you succeed.
David Cwiertny is an Associate Professor and Director of the Sustainable Water Development Graduate Program within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa. A native of Southern California, he holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering Science with a minor in Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
David’s research integrates aspects of environmental engineering with chemistry, toxicology, materials science and nanotechnology, with his group focusing broadly on questions related to water quality, pollutant fate and water treatment technologies. His group has particular expertise related to transformation pathways of emerging or unregulated pollutant classes (e.g., steroids, pesticides, pharmaceuticals) and the development of nanomaterial-based treatment technologies that promote water sustainability through point-of-use and point-of-entry applications.
David is also passionate about intersection of science and policy, and is spending his sabbatical during the 2016 academic year working on Capitol Hill as a Congressional Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). There, he serves as Minority Staff on the Committee of Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives, working with the subcommittees on Energy and the Environment.
Beyond his roles in SWD and CEE at UI, he also currently serves as Director of the Environmental Policy Research Program at the UI Public Policy Center. He is also a core faculty member in the campus-wide Water Sustainability Initiative, a faculty affiliate of the UI Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute and the UI Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, and sits on the Advisory Board for the Iowa Energy Center. In 2014, David became the founding Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. He also serves on the organizing committee for EmCon, a premier international conference on emerging contaminants in the environment.
Michelle’s research focuses on Fe minerals in the environment. She is interested in how these fascinating, tiny, colorful particles behave in the environment and how they influence important environmental processes such as water quality, nitrogen cycling, and carbon storage in soils. Her research interests range from applied environmental engineering questions to fundamental basic science questions. For example, her group is currently trying to figure out whether Fe minerals in aquifers can help clean up chlorinated solvents (such as PCE and TCE) as well as whether these minerals can help keep or trap carbon in soils. At the same time, her group is exploring how electron doping of Fe minerals changes their semi-conductor properties and how we might be able harness these changes for improved water treatment or if they are lucky, energy production.
Michelle earned degrees in systems engineering (BS), civil and environmental engineering (MS), and environmental science and engineering (PhD, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology). In 1998, she joined the University of Iowa as a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is currently chair of the department and holds the Donald E. Bentley Professorship in Engineering.
Michelle serves on the EPA’s Environmental Engineering Scientific Advisory Board and on the Scientific Advisory Board for DoD’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP).
Michelle lives in Iowa City with her husband, two daughters, and her puggle (Sugar). In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, walking Sugar, and hanging out with her family watching Avenger and X-men movies.
Blake comes to the College of Engineering after a background in startups and conservation. Blake received her Master's degree in International Studies and focused her research on the different human drivers behind waste proliferation and marine debris presence. She conducted projects in several areas of this field - from conducting field research in quantifying and classifying the waste problem to identifying and critiquing systemic, institutional obstacles to improving the waste situation. Blake utilized her passion for water conservation and skills in web design and development to build mobile conservation and sustainability apps. With this experience and background, Blake now coordinates the Sustainable Water Development Program for IIHR - Hydroscience and Engineering.
Photo courtesy of NPR.
Dr. Eric Tate earned BS and MS degrees in environmental engineering and a PhD in geography from the University of South Carolina, which focused on modeling social vulnerability to hazards. He came to the University of Iowa in 2011 when he joined the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. Tate is also a member of the University of Iowa’s Water Sustainability Initiative. His research and teaching focus on environmental justice, water resources, hazards and society, contemporary environmental issues, sustainability indicators, transnational disasters, and global health.
Tate is a member of the Hazards Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. This group selected his dissertation as the best in the field of hazards geography. His current research includes “Measuring Social Vulnerability — Reducing Uncertainty and Validating Indicators” and “Monsoon Harvests: Assessing the Impact of Distributed Storage Tanks on the Vulnerability of Subsistence-level Agriculture in Tamil Nadu, India,” which also includes Dr. Craig Just.
Tate is a member of the Adaptation and Hazards Indicators Working Group with the National Climate Assessment. He also serves on the HAZUS Flood Committee for the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Dr. Craig Just has served the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa since 1993. He earned a masters degree in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa in 1994 and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering and science from the University of Iowa in 2001. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an assistant research engineer at IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering. He is also the Coordinator of Sustainability Programs for the College of Engineering.
Dr. Just teaches Introduction to Sustainability, an interdisciplinary course targeted toward underclass students pursuing the new University of Iowa, Certificate in Sustainability. Dr. Just also teaches Design for the Developing World, also an interdisciplinary course targeted toward upperclass students interested in advancing sustainable development in resource-poor countries. Dr. Just was awarded the University of Iowa, President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence in 2008 for creative utilization of service-learning and for engaged scholarship through teaching.
Dr. Just is Faculty Advisor for the UI Student Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council and he coordinates the UI International Engineering Service Program. Dr. Just was awarded the David J. Skorton Award for Staff Excellence in Public Service in 2010. Dr. Just also received the 2011 International Studies Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award.
Gabriele’s research interests focus on flood hydrology, extreme events, hydroclimatology, climate predictions and projections, and economic impacts of natural hazards. He is particularly interested in understanding what drove the observed changes in extremes in the past, and in predicting what the future (e.g., next season/year, next decade, next century) may look like.
Gabriele received his M.S. in Civil Engineering in 2003 from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2008 from the University of Iowa. He was a researcher and Willis Research Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, he joined the University of Iowa as a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and he has been an associate professor since 2016. He is also the associate director of IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering.
Gabriele has received numerous national and international awards including: the “Premio Torricelli” awarded by the “Gruppo Italiano di Idraulica” for the best young Italian researcher in hydrology and hydraulics (2012); the “Hydrological Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist Award” awarded by the European Geosciences Union (2013); the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award (2014); the Editor’s Award – Journal of Climate” awarded by the American Meteorological Society (2014); the “James B. Macelwane Medal” awarded by the American Geophysical Union (2016).
Gabriele lives in Iowa City with his wife and two daughters. In 2016 he decided that it was time to be a student again and has been working towards his Executive MBA at the University of Iowa.
Larry is Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and director of IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering. His leadership of that world-renowned institute has advanced it to even greater prominence, doubling its number of graduate students and tripling its grant- and contract-supported research. In 2009 Larry co-founded the Iowa Flood Center (along with Witek Krajewski), which has provided superb services to the state to help Iowans prepare for flooding events more effectively. In 2013, Larry led a collaborative effort with the Iowa Legislature, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa to form the Iowa Nutrient Research Center (administered by ISU), a Regents Center focused on developing science-based approaches to understanding point source and non-point source nutrients discharges in Iowa. Recently, Larry led a collaborative process that brought the Iowa Geological Survey to IIHR, expanding its role in better understanding the state’s precious groundwater resources.
Larry serves the state on the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council and routinely provides guidance on water science and policy related matters to the legislature and various state/federal agencies. Through Larry’s leadership, IIHR has broadened its research, outreach and educational programs to cover groundwater to surface water flows, water quantity and water quality issues, by studying conditions ranging from drought to flood, and everything in between.
Larry and his wife, Miechelle, live just outside of Iowa City, where he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, woodworking, and prairie / timber restoration on his property, Old Man’s Timber. Larry and Miechelle have been recognized as Johnson County Conservationist of the Year (2014) and State of Iowa, Woodland Owners of the Year (2015), his interest in water and natural resources transcends his personal and professional lives.
Ibrahim Demir is an Assistant Professor at the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, and Associate Research Faculty Engineer at the IIHR – Hydroscience and Engineering. Ibrahim has appointments at the Iowa Informatics Initiative and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Iowa.
Ibrahim’s research focuses on hydroinformatics, environmental information systems, scientific visualization, big data analytics, intelligent systems, and information communication. He is interested in exploring novel computational techniques and approaches for environmental engineering applications. His research projects include intelligent systems, smart assistant (e.g. Siri) and chatbots for flooding, crowdsourced augmented reality applications for environmental monitoring, virtual reality and cyber learning systems for hydrological simulations, and holographic applications for emergency management.
Ibrahim studied machine intelligence and environmental information systems during his graduate studies (MS, PhD). He received his PhD degree on Environmental Informatics at the University of Georgia. He is the lead architect and developer of many novel research and operational information systems including Iowa Flood Information System, Iowa Water Quality Information System, NASA IFloodS and SMAP Satellite Mission Information Systems, Georgia Watershed Information System, and many others.
Ibrahim currently serve at Editorial Board of Environmental Modeling and Software journal (Elsevier), and various national and international informatics and cyberinfrastructure committees including the CUAHSI Informatics Committee, NSF EarthCube Technology and Architecture Committee, Unidata User Committee, and International Joint Committee on Hydroinformatics (IWA/IAHR/IAHS).
Ibrahim lives in Iowa City with his wife and two children (son and daughter).
Greg LeFevre is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and assistant faculty research engineer at IIHR. His research focus is the use of engineered natural treatment systems (ENTS) for non-point pollutant capture and degradation to improve water quality. In particular, his lab group studies systems-based, biologically-mediated pollutant transformation processes (microbial, vegetative, fungal) within these systems—and how to improve ENTS through better understanding. Overall, the goal is to harness natural energetic processes for controlling contaminants that are large contributors to water quality degradation but are often otherwise ignored due to their diffuse nature.
Greg is an environmental engineer by training and restoration ecologist at heart. He began in the environmental field at age 4 collecting native seeds for landscape restoration. Greg earned degrees in environmental engineering (BS Michigan Tech, MS+PhD University of Minnesota) and was a postdoc (Stanford University) prior to joining University of Iowa in January of 2016. He has also worked for several NGOs and the Indian Health Service (US PHS, Navajo Nation). Greg was an NSF Fellow, IGERT Trainee, Moris K. Udall Scholar, World Wildlife Fund Scholar, ARCS Scholar, US-EC Environmental Biotechnology Fellow, and awarded the AEESP Paul Roberts Best Dissertation Award. In the SWD program, Greg will be teaching Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology.
Dr. Kelly Baker is an Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, with a secondary appointment in Epidemiology. She joined the University of Iowa in 2014 as a part of the Water Sustainability Initiative. Her research programs centers on understanding how water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions in low and middle income countries affects the health of women and children. This research is performed using a methodological toolbox that includes epidemiology, spatial mapping, clinical and environmental microbiology, and human behavioral observation. Discovery from basic research on environmental transmission of gastrointestinal pathogens is applied in partnership with NGO and governance partners to identify and evaluate WASH interventions that sustainably improve healthy behaviors and reduce diarrheal and helminth disease burden. Similarly, basic discoveries on how WASH affects women’s wellbeing and reproductive health seek to identify social and environmental targets that can be integrated into WASH interventions to reduce related disease morbidities in women. Ongoing and upcoming research projects span the globe, and include India, Haiti, Armenia, Kenya, and The Gambia. An example of potential projects for engineering students include development and testing of low-cost, innovative pollution control interventions in a transitional refugee camp in Haiti. Dr. Baker teaches courses on International Health and Global Water and Health, and is a faculty advisor in the MHIRT program which provides global internship opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students in Africa and Eastern Europe.
Allen Bradley is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa. He is also a Faculty Research Engineering at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering and the Iowa Flood Center. He received degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Virginia Tech (BS), Stanford University (MS), and the University of Wisconsin (PhD). He worked for four years as a consulting water resources engineer at Hydrocomp, Inc., and earned his Professional Engineer (PE) license, before returning to graduate school for his PhD.
Allen’s research interests are in the areas of hydrology and hydrometeorology, including flood and drought hydrology, hydroclimatic forecasting, and water resource applications. Working at the interface between hydrology, atmospheric science, and engineering practice has been a common theme for many of his activities. Recently, he has been involved in developing long-term continuous simulation watershed models, to evaluate flooding and nutrient transport in Iowa streams. He also works on using weather and climate information (forecasts and indices) to improve river forecasts out to monthly and seasonal time scales, and advancing forecast verification techniques to assess the quality for ensemble forecasts. In addition, he regularly co-leads a science-driven project-based study abroad course on water poverty in rural India.
Allen has received awards for his teaching at the University of Iowa, including the President & Provost Award for Teaching Excellence. He has also received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, and an American Geophysical Union (AGU) Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing.
Syed Mubeen is currently an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at The University of Iowa. His research interests center on three topical areas:
• Sunlight Driven water treatment technologies: Goal is to elucidate material and system design principles for developing energy efficient photoelectrochemical technologies for water treatment.
• Solar-to-Chemical Energy Conversion Systems: To discover high efficiency light absorbing materials made from inexpensive elements and to create new cost effective system architectures where these materials might be deployed such that the total cost of the solar-to-chemical conversion process is economical. Particularly the research group is focusing on developing photoelectrochemical technologies for converting waste and saline waters to fuels and value added chemicals.
• Cos-effective grid-scale energy storage systems.
Mubeen received his B.Tech in Chemical and Electrochemical Engineering at Central Electrochemical Research Institute, India. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical and Environmental Engineering with Prof. Nosang Myung and Prof. Marc Deshusses at UC Riverside. As a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Santa Barbara, he studied plasmonic metals and semiconductors for photoelectrochemistry working with Prof. Martin Moskovits, Prof. Galen Stucky and Prof. Eric McFarland. He is also associated with two start-up companies, as lead scientist for HyperSolar Inc and co-founder of PANI CLEAN Inc.
Dr. Witold F. Krajewski is the Rose and Joseph Summers Chair of Water Resources Engineering at the University of Iowa. He is Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Research Engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering. In 2009, he was appointed Director of the Iowa Flood Center.
Dr. Krajewski received an M.S. (1976) and a Ph.D. (1980) from Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, in environmental engineering and water resources systems. He was a Research Hydrologist at the Office of Hydrology of the National Weather Service until 1987, when he joined the University of Iowa.
Dr. Krajewski’s scientific interests concern measuring, modeling, and forecasting precipitation using radar and satellite remote sensing. His current research focuses on understanding the genesis of floods through field experimentation and modeling, and the quantification of uncertainty in hydrologic prediction at a range of temporal and spatial scales. Dr. Krajewski has published more than 200 papers in refereed journals.
He is Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He has served on numerous committees and panels of these and other professional organizations, and on the editorial boards of several journals. He was Editor of Advances in Water Resources. In 2012 he was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. In 2012 he received University of Iowa Graduate College Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award in Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Engineering.
Corey Markfort is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is also Faculty Research Engineer and head of the Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Renewable Energy (EFRE) Laboratory at IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering. His research focus is on improving measurement and prediction of environmental boundary-layers, with applications to air and water resource sustainability, land-atmosphere and air-water interactions, and renewable energy. In particular, his group studies the atmospheric boundary layer, and interactions with aquatic systems to better characterize interfacial fluxes mediated by turbulence in complex heterogeneous terrain to improve environmental prediction and optimize sustainable renewable energy potential.
Corey joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2014 after receiving his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota and working as Scientific Collaborator in the Wind Engineering and Renewable Energy Lab at EPFL in Switzerland. Between completing his MS and pursuing his PhD, Corey worked as a consultant in the Twin Cities where he developed solutions to mitigate lake eutrophication and led various stream restoration projects. It was there that he realized the importance of considering the interactions between engineering infrastructure and ecological systems are critical to moving toward sustainable development. This led Corey to leave consulting to become an NSF Fellow and join the IGERT: Non-equilibrium Dynamics Across Space and Time, where he learned the central roll of multi-scale transport processes on changes in the abiotic and biotic world. He subsequently was awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science fellowship to investigate the effects of deforestation on biosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere interactions in the Amazon rainforest, the interactions between wind farms and the atmospheric boundary layer, and the wind sheltering of lakes by forests and complex terrain. His research strives to weave in his previous experience to employ interdisciplinary thinking into solutions for Food, Energy, and Water resources challenges.
Corey teaches undergraduate engineering fluid mechanics, and graduate environmental fluid dynamics. In the SWD program, he teaches Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems where we explore systems thinking for analyzing and designing environmental solutions in our fluid environment. To learn more about activities in the EFRE lab, see: www.iihr.uiowa.edu/efre.
Jerry Schnoor is a chemical and environmental engineer with degrees from Iowa State University (B.S. ChE) and the University of Texas at Austin (M.S. EHE, Ph.D. CE). He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (elected in 1999) for pioneering work using mathematical models in science policy decisions. He testified several times before Congress on environmental protection including the importance of passing the 1990 Clean Air Act. From 2003-2014, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal Environmental Science and Technology. He chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development from 2000-2004; and served on the EPA Science Advisory Board and the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for NIEHS (2007-2011). His current research interests are in water sustainability, water quality modeling, phytoremediation, and climate change.
You’ll get your hands dirty for a good cause during the program in a co-op or internship. Several opportunities are available. Students will work with water-quality professionals in industry, government, research labs, and NGOs on real-world problems, from water quality to sustainable, resilient infrastructure.
A bachelor’s degree in a STEM field;
Minimum GPA of 3.00;
Combined GRE verbal and quantitative score of at least 301
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