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Civil and Environmental Engineering Research

Environmental Engineering

Building on strengths and priorities established within WSU, environmental research is one pillar of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s research portfolio.

Growing populations and economies will continue to stress finite natural resources, meaning that creative solutions are needed to promote “greener” technologies, environmental restoration and protection, and waste reutilization. Understanding complex interactions of processes at multiple scales, from the microscopic level to the global scale, will be necessary to fully advance future development. Furthermore, sustainability is a multifaceted concept based on the necessity for society to take steps to minimize, eliminate, and reverse anthropogenic impacts that adversely affect the planet. Tomorrow’s solutions will thus require multifaceted approaches where scientific answers incorporate human behavior, ecological response, economic analysis, and societal values.

Research areas include:

  • Agriculture and Air Quality
  • Regional Air Quality
  • Biosphere/Atmosphere Interactions
  • Urban Air Quality
  • Global Change
  • Bioremediation
  • Hazardous Waste Remediation
  • Environmental Issues with Concrete
  • Contaminant Fate and Transport
  • Water Quality Modeling
  • Green Highways
  • Green Chemistry
  • Ecological Engineering
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Sustainable materials and construction
  • Engineering Education


Environmental engineering maintains a number of research laboratories equipped with new chromatography systems, atomic absorption spectrometers, pollutant analyzers, and associated computer data acquisition and analysis systems. The Laboratory for Atmospheric Research(LAR) also employs a variety of meteorological and turbulence sensors including an extensive system for conducting atmospheric tracer studies using sulfur hexafluoride and other halogenated tracers. Three water craft and a number of vehicles and monitoring trailers are routinely used for a variety of field study programs.

Affiliated Centers, Institutes, and Labs

Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach (CEREO)

Academic and industry leaders applying innovative technologies and management tools to the challenges of global climate change and environmental sustainability

Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR)

Conducting air quality research, emphasizing biosphere/atmosphere interactions and regional air quality measurements and modeling


Courtney M. Gardner
Gardner, Courtney 335-5443
Akram Hossain
Hossain, Akram
WSU Tricities 372-7314
Tom Jobson
Jobson, Tom 335-2692
Heping Liu
Liu, Heping 335-1529
Jun Meng
Meng, Jun 335-2832
Shelley N. Pressley
Pressley, Shelley N.
Associate Research Professor 335-4653
Von Walden
Walden, Von 335-5645
Kuang Zhu
Zhu, Kuang 335-5443
Candis Claiborn
Claiborn, Candis
Dean Emeritus 335-4652
Brian Lamb
Lamb, Brian
Regents Professor
Boeing Distinguished Professor 335-5702
George Mount
Mount, George
Professor 335-3790
Joseph Vaughan
Vaughan, Joseph
Associate Research Professor 335-2832
Richard Watts
Watts, Richard
Boeing Distinguished Professor 335-3761
David Yonge
Yonge, David
Professor 335-2147

Theses & Dissertations


  • Effects of Oxygen and Nitrate on Mercury Cycling in the Profundal Zone of Lakes and Reservoirs
    Ricardi Duvil, PhD, Chair: Marc M. Beutel











  • Waste to Plastic: A Sustainable Approach for the Production and Use of Polyhydroxyalkanoates, and the Impact of Biological Phosphorus Removal Mechanisms
    Erik Robert Coats, PhD , Co Chairs: Frank Loge, Michael Wolcott
  • Investigation of Atmospheric Dispersion in an Urban Environment Using SF6 Tracer and Numberical Methods
    Julia E. Flaherty, MS, Chair: Brian Kent Lamb
  • An Evaluation of Natural Dispersion for Highway Storm Water Quantity Treatment in Washington State
    Mitchell S. Reister, MS, Chair: David R. Yonge
  • Evaluation of the Airpact2 System for the Pacific Northwest
    Abdullah Al Mahmud, MS, Chair: Brian Kent Lamb
  • The Effects of Various Soil Properties on H202 Decomposition Rates
    Mohammad Shadhidur Rahman, MS, Chair: Richard J. Watts
  • Empirical and Modeling Studies on the Physical and Radiative Properties of Windblown Dust Over the Columbia Plateau
    Irra T-Mohana Sundram , PhD, Chair: Candis Claiborn
  • Urban Flux and Concentration Measurements of Volatile Organic Compounds and CO2 in Mexico City
    Hector Erik Velasco Saldana, PhD, Chair: Halvor H. Westberg



  • Particulate Matter and the Tri-Cities: Impact of New Standards – Non-Thesis
    John St. Clair II, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain


  • Aerosol and Ozone Sensitivity Analysis with the Community Multi-Scale Air Quality (CMAQ) Model for the Pacific Northwest
    Jack Chi-Mou Chen, MS, Chair: Brian Lamb
  • Airborne Volatile Organic Compounds and Their Influence on Photochemical Ozone (Abstract)
    Brian Hopkins, PhD, Chair: Hal Westberg
  • The Disinfection of Secondary Effluent Using Titanium-Tin Oxide Anodes (Abstract)
    Trevor Inouye, MS, Chair: Frank Loge
  • Order of Reagent Addition Effects for Modified Fenton’s Reactions in Aqueous Systems and in the Presence of Sand (Abstract)
    Shawn Kohtz, MS, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Treatment of Highway Runoff Using Wet Detention Ponds: Water, Quality, Operation, and Maintenance Considerations (Abstract)
    Tonja Koob, PhD, Chair: David Yonge
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of an Angerobic Dairy Lagoon (Abstract)
    Manjit Neger , MS, Chair: David Yonge
  • Preliminary Site Investigation and Characterization of the Former Atomic Energy Commission Bus Lot Property (Abstract)
    Robert R. Nielson, MS, Chair: Yasuo Onishi
  • Modeling Ozone and Aerosol Formation and Transport in the Pacific Northwest and Calculation Fractional Source Contributions to Downwind Receptors (Abstract)
    Susan O’Neill , PhD, Chair: Brian Lamb
  • Effect of Contaminant Hydrophobicity on Reagent Dosage Requirements in the Fenton-Like Treatment of Soils (Abstract)
    Hue Quan , MS, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Stormwater Permeable Rapid Infiltration Barriers (SPRIB) for Retrofitting Stormwater Injection Wells (Abstract)
    Piper Roelen, MS, Chair: David Yonge
  • Changes in the Suspended Sediment Transport Regime in the Lower Yakima River (Abstract)
    Stuart Saslow , MS, Chair: Victor Medina
  • Remedial Investigation of the 200-TW-1 and 200-TW-2 Operable Units (Non-thesis)
    Mary Todd, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain
  • Water Quality Parameters Study of Instream and Outstream of Kennewick Irrigation District (Abstract)
    Saradha Vedula , MS, Chair: Victor Medina
  • Assessment of the Occurrence and Relative Concentrations of Salmonid Pathogens in Fish Hatcheries from Washington State (Abstract)
    Brandi Wallace, MS, Chair: Frank Loge


  • Determination of Zero Order Rate Constants for an Anaerobic Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium Using a Mixed Culture (Abstract)
    Elita Castleberry, MS, Chair: David Yonge
  • VOC Emissions from Softwood Lumber Drying (Abstract)
    Brad Fritz , MS, Chair: Brian Lamb
  • Mechanisms of Fenton-Like Reactions for Reduction of Refractory Compounds (Abstract)
    Yuanyuan Hui, PhD, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Non-Thermal Plasma-Enhanced Catalytic Reduction of NOx in Simulated Heavy-Duty Diesel Exhaust (Abstract)
    Diana Tran, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain


  • Simplified 1-D Modeling of Flow and Contaminant Removal in Wet Detention Ponds
    Md Mahbub Alam, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain
  • Contaminant Transport in the Vadose Zone Beneath the Richland Muncipal Solid Waste Landfill
    Eric Damberg, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain
  • Comparative Efficiencies of Disinfection Methods Applied to Dispersed and Particle Associated Pathogens
    Joseph Dietrich, MS, Chair: Frank Loge
  • Finite Element and Finite Difference Models for Transport in Groundwater
    John Farren, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain
  • The Measurement of Forest Respiration by Fourier Transfor Infrared Spectroscopy of Isotopic CO2
    Rae Hafer, MS, Chair: George Mount
  • Innovative Uses of Fenton-Like Reactions for the Treatment of Biorefractory Compounds
    Jimmy Howsawkeng, PhD, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Oxidation of Ammonia Using a Passive Biological Filter
    Todd Krause, MS, Chair: Hal Westberg
  • Remote Application of Ultraviolet Radiation for Drinking-Water Disinfection
    Michael LaMont, MS, Chair: A. Tonkovich
  • Evaluation of a Passive Sampling Device (PSD) to Sequester Pesticides from Irrigation Water
    Christopher Manuel , MS, Chair: Victor Medina
  • The Impacts of Highway Deicers on Peshastin Creek, Washington
    Nathaniel Marcoe, MS, Chair: David Yonge
  • The Development of the Best-Basis Inventory Maintenance Tool to Generate and Maintain Hanford Tank Waste Inventories
    Kerry Prindiville, MS, Chair: James Duncan
  • Statistical Distributions of Atmospheric Particulate Matter and the Error Associated with Sampling Frequency
    Brian Rumburg, MS, Chair: Candis Claiborn
  • Dry-Phase Transformation of 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol on the Surface of Manganese Dioxide: Products and Mechanisms
    Brant Smith, MS, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Modified Fentons Reactions with Manganese
    Douglas Van Gelder, MS, Chair: Richard Watts
  • Application of Remote Sensing Techniques to Problems in the Simulation and Measurement of Windblown Dust Over the Columbia Plateau
    Joseph Vaughan, PhD, Chair: Brian Lamb
  • Toxicity of Fenton’s-Like Products on Escherichia Coli in a Dual Process Abiotic-Biotic Reactor
    Diana Washington, MS, Chair: Richard Watts
  • A Kinetic Evaluation of Halophilic Phenol Biodegradation at 10% NaCl
    Tomas Wilson Molina, MS, Chair: David Yonge


  • Modeling Tropospheric Ozone Formation and Transport in the Cascadia Region of the Pacific Northwest
    Michael Barna, PhD, Chair: Brian Lamb
  • Prediction of Multicomponent Ion Exchange Equilibria for the Ternary System Cs+-K+-Na+ from Data of Binary System
    Richard Chen, MS, Chair: Akram Hossain
  • Vacuum Sewer Transfer Technology for Wastewater Treatment
    George Dragseth, MS, Chair: James Duncan
  • A Study of Lateral Earth Pressure on Retaining Walls Due to Highway Live Load Surcharge
    Teresa Gilman, MS, Chair: B. Muhunthan
  • Predicting Flammable Gas Mixtures in Hanford Double-Contained Receiver Tanks
    David Hedengren, MS, Chair: James Hoover
  • Sanitary Surveys for Small Drinking Water Systems
    Eric Nelson, MS, Chair: James Duncan
  • Determination of the Equilibrium Sorption Constant Kd,Using Sediment Samples from Borehole 299-E17-21
    Kent Parker, MS, Chair: James Duncan
  • Biogenic Hydrocarbon Emissions from Aln Old Growth Forest and a Poplar Plantation
    Shelley Pressley, MS, Chair: Brian Lamb
    Modeling Transport and Dispersion of Smoke Plumes from Prescribed Agricultural Field Burning in the Spokane-Coeur D’Alene Region
    Tara Strand, MS, Chair: Candis Claiborn
  • Determining Parameters that Influence Cost Associated with the Remediation of Trichloroethylene (TCE) Contaminated Soil Using Poplar Trees
    Dean Strom, MS, Chair: Victor Medina
  • Modeling High Wintertime Particulate Matter Episodes in a City of Complex Terrain
    Rafael Villasenor-Gutierrez, MS, Chair: Candis Claiborn
  • Review and Analysis of Historical Surface Water Quality Monitoring Data within the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District
    Hans Vogel, MS, Chair: Victor Medina