Research Focus: Water Quality and
Resource Management

Resource This research area encompasses a number of topics, including surface and ground water flow, contaminant transport, and drinking water quality and quantity. Its main focus is on water resources management, which includes the fields of hydrology and environmental engineering applied to environmental problems researched by faculty in the environmental area.

Identifying factors that affect the fate and transport of pathogens in surface and ground waters.
This includes factors affecting the survival of microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium spp. in surface waters and transport microorganisms through the subsurface. Current research focuses on pathogens transported vertically through unsaturated soils from septic systems until they reach the water table, where they then migrate horizontally with the saturated groundwater flow. We are currently developing a meso-scale physical groundwater system for determining the hydrologic factors that are important to understanding the microbial transport at the scale of 10 meters.

Developing technologies that provide potable water to rural communities.
Research in this area has produced well-head ion exchange systems for remediation of arsenic-contaminated groundwater in the Indian subcontinent. Lehigh has installed over 140 of these systems to date.

Faculty Engaged in Water Quality and Resource Management Research


Panos Diplas, Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1986. Research interests include fluid mechanics, sediment and contaminant transport through waterways, floodplains and wetlands and their interaction with structures, vegetation and biota; environmental, fluvial, ecological and infrastructure hydraulics; sustainable development; and hydrokinetic energy generation.


Kristen Jellison, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003, Associate Professor. Research interests include environmental microbiology and molecular biology; pathogen sources, fate, transport, and viability (e.g., Cryptosporidium spp.); phylogenetic analysis of environmental pathogens; watershed protection; and water treatment technologies for developing countries.


Gerard P. Lennon, Ph.D., Cornell, 1980, Professor. Research interests include ground water and surface water hydrology; fluid mechanics; and contaminant transport modeling.


Arup K. SenGupta, Ph.D., University of Houston, 1984, P. C. Rossin Senior Professor. Research interests include ion exchange; adsorption and membrane processes; environmental separation; toxic metal sensing; efficient desalination and water reuse; and sustainable arsenic and fluoride technology in developing countries.


Robert M. Sorensen, Ph.D., University of California – Berkeley, 1966, Professor Emeritus. Research interests include wave-structure interaction; coastal zone hydromechanics; functional/structural design of coastal structures; and shore stabilization.


Tara Troy, Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2010, Assistant Professor.  Research interests include the intersection of climate, water, and food; understanding the role of climate variability on water supply and demand; developing hydrologic models that incorporate human activities; and large-scale flooding.


Richard N. Weisman, Ph.D., Cornell, 1973, Professor. Research interests include surface water hydrology and sediment transport.

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