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


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.


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

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