delware environmental institute

Council of Fellows

John M. Byrne John M. Byrne, Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy´╗┐ and Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP)´╗┐

John Byrne has contributed to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Dr. Byrne is co-founder and co-executive director of the Joint Institute for a Sustainable Energy and Environmental Future, an innovative research and policy advocacy organization headquartered in South Korea. He is also a founding member of and served as the first research chair for the International Solar Cities Initiative, a pioneering program to assist cities around the world in building sustainable futures. He presently co-chairs the Sustainable Energy Utility Oversight Board, created by the Delaware General Assembly, and is the architect of this innovative concept for the promotion of energy efficiency, conservation, and distributed renewable energy generation. In 2009, Dr. Byrne received the American Institute of Architects Delaware Sustainability Award. 

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Michael J. Chajes Michael J. Chajes, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Michael Chajes’s research focuses on bridge testing, evaluation, and rehabilitation. He has taught classes in structural analysis and design, as well as sustainable energy technologies. He is an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Innovative Bridge Engineering, the Center for Composite Materials, and the Delaware Transportation Center. While at UD, Dr. Chajes has served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He is a registered Professional Engineer and was named Delaware Engineer of the Year in 2010.  

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James J. Corbett James J. Corbett, Professor, Marine Science and Policy

James Corbett's research focuses on freight transportation, energy and emissions, and sustainability. In 2007, he published research results in Environmental Science & Technology that estimated that shipping-related particulate matter emissions are responsible for approximately 60,000 cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths annually, with impacts concentrated in coastal regions along major trade routes.

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Dominic M. DiToro Dominic M. DiToro, Edward C. Davis Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dominic DiToro specializes in the development and application of mathematical and statistical models to address stream, lake, estuarine, and coastal water and sediment quality problems. He has published over one hundred technical papers and the book Sediment Flux Modeling, published by J. Wiley & Sons. He has participated as expert consultant, principal investigator, and project manager on numerous water quality studies for industry, research foundations, and governmental agencies. Recently, his work has focused on the development of water and sediment quality criteria for the EPA, sediment flux models for nutrients and metals, and integrated hydrodynamic, sediment transport and water quality models.

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Joshua M. Duke Joshua M. Duke, Professor, Applied Economics and Statistics

Josh Duke examines problems in resource allocation and institutions at the nexus of land use and environmental quality (with applications to land conservation and water quality).  Ecosystem service valuation is one research thrust.  Duke also analyzes the cost effectiveness of policies that procure environmental services using conservation auctions.  His research employs game theory, empirical methods, and experimental economics.  Duke joined the faculty in 1998 and has been the co-editor of the journal, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.  He holds joint appointments in Economics Department and the Legal Studies Program.

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Diane Herson Diane Herson, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Diane Herson's research group studies the physiology of organisms in water and soil. The group is particularly interested in the detection of these organisms and their ability to survive in these environments. Previous studies with coliform organisms in drinking water have demonstrated the protective role of attachment when these organisms are exposed to chlorine. They respond to chlorine by synthesizing a subset of new proteins, one of which is in the outer membrane. Herson's studies using INT, a tetrazolium dye, have indicated that INT reduction is a more sensitive assay than plate counts in detecting chlorine-injured organisms.

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Chin-Pao Huang Chin-Pao Huang, Donald C. Phillips Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Chin-Pao Huang’s research specialties are aquatic chemistry and  sustainable engineering, with a focus on water quality and its control. He studies adsorption at mineral surfaces, advanced oxidation processes, and photocatalysis. Recently, Huang also explores the environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology. He served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1996 to 2001. He won the Graduate Advising and Mentoring Award in 2008 and was awarded the Francis Alison Faculty Award in 2009 from the university. Huang was also a recipient of the Gordon Maskew Fair Medal from the Water Environment Federation in 1999 and the Gordon Maskew Fair Award from the America Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists in 2012.

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Yan Jin Yan Jin, Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences

Yan Jin's research interests are in the areas of measurements, modeling, and interpretation of contaminant fate and transport in porous media. Her recent research activity focuses on two major areas: (1) colloid and colloid-facilitated contaminant transport in porous media, with emphasis on the vadose zone, and (2) developing a potential new technology for removal and inactivation of waterborne viruses and other microorganisms. Jin is a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, and she was named an Outstanding Overseas Scholar by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008.

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Murray V. Johnston, III Murray V. Johnston, III, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Murray Johnston's research group uses mass spectrometry to characterize microscopic and nanoscopic matter. The group's research focuses on problems of atmospheric, environmental, and biological significance. Current projects include instrument design and development, laboratory investigations of multiphase chemical processes, and field measurements of airborne particles to assess health and environmental impacts. He came to the University of Delaware in 1990.

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David L. Kirchman David L. Kirchman, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Biosciences

David Kirchman's current research interests include microbial oceanography and microbial ecology; understanding links between function and structure in the carbon cycle; and the role of photoheterotrophic bacteria in the carbon cycle. He earned the Francis Alison Faculty Award in 2010, the University of Delaware’s highest faculty honor for excellence in both research and teaching. 

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Daniel J. Leathers Daniel J. Leathers, Professor, Geography, and Delaware State Climatologist

Daniel Leathers' major research interests include understanding the role of snow cover in the global climate system; the influence of land-surface changes (natural and human induced) on regional climates; environmental monitoring; environmental policy and resource management; and sustainability of global systems, especially in the context of climate variation, climate change and land-surface surface changes.  He is the co-director of the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS), a support tool for decision makers involved in environmental policy and planning, natural resource management, emergency management, transportation and other activities throughout the Delmarva Peninsula.

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George Luther George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Oceanography

George Luther's research focuses on redox reactions in the environment; trace element speciation in marine waters and sediments, including metal-ligand complexes; biogeochemical processes in marine environments; application of molecular orbital theory to geochemical processes; and in situ electrochemistry and microelectrode technology. His research interfaces chemistry with biology, with the view that chemistry drives biology. Luther is a fellow of the Geochemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2004, he received the Geochemical Society’s Clair C. Patterson Award for outstanding contributions to environmental geochemistry, and in 2013, he was selected the American Chemical Society Geochemistry Division Medalist. In 2006 he received the Francis Alison Faculty Award, the University of Delaware’s highest faculty honor for excellence in both research and teaching.

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Sue McNeil Sue McNeil, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Sue McNeil is Director of the University of Delaware Transportation Center and the Disaster Research Center. Her research and teaching interests focus on transportation infrastructure management with emphasis on the application of advanced technologies, economic analysis, analytical methods, and computer applications. Dr. McNeil chairs the Transportation Research Board Committee on Asset Management and is a founding Associate Editor for the ASCE Journal of Infrastructure Systems. She is a registered professional engineer.

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John Rabolt John Rabolt, Karl W. and Renate Boer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

John Rabolt's research encompasses the areas of biospecific recognition via surface interactions in self assembled monolayers (SAMs) and Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films, structure-property relationships in homopolymers and multiblock polymers, polymer molding at the nanoscale, and flow deposition of polymers using microfluidic applications. A parallel activity in the design and construction of novel instrumentation for investigating electronic properties of materials and for the real-time observation of polymer orientation in fibers and films is also maintained.

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Daniel Rich Daniel Rich, University Professor of Public Policy, School of Public Policy and Administration

Daniel Rich has been a faculty member at the University of Delaware since 1970 and served as provost from 2001-2009.  He continues to lead projects to strengthen the university's academic programs in southern Delaware and helps coordinate the "Creating Knowledge-Based Partnerships" conference series.  A recipient of a University excellence-in-teaching award, Rich is the author of 13 books and edited volumes and more than 100 articles, monographs and professional papers. Rich's public service contributions include work with Vision 2015 education reform and service on the boards of the Delaware Public Policy Institute, and Nemours Health and Prevention Services.

Stanley I. Sandler Stanley I. Sandler, H. B. du Pont Chair of Chemical Engineering

Stanley Sandler's research program encompasses three areas: separations and purifications processes, thermophysical properties and phase equilibria.  Sandler trains his research group members in basic theory, experimental measurements, and supercomputer simulation.The major expense in the chemical pharmaceutical industries is the separations and purifications processes that are largely designed on the basis of phase equilibrium. Thermophysical properties and phase equilibria also play important roles in biochemical processing, environmental engineering and risk and safety analysis.

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J. Thomas Sims J. Thomas Sims, T.A. Baker Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences

Tom Sims' research focuses on the relationship between soil and environmental chemistry and nutrient and trace element cycling in soils and sediments. Sims has been a leader in the development and implementation of environmentally sound soil management programs for agriculture and for industries and municipalities with significant waste management problems.

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Donald L. Sparks Donald L. Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Soil and Environmental Chemistry and DENIN Director

Donald Sparks holds joint faculty appointments in civil and environmental engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. He is internationally recognized for his research on the kinetics and mechanisms of metal/oxyanion/nutrient reactions at biogeochemical interfaces. This research has led to more effective soil remediation strategies and predictive models. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 294 publications and the author of three textbooks in environmental soil chemistry and kinetics of geochemical processes. Sparks is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being a Fellow of five professional societies and a recipient of UD's Francis Alison Faculty Award. Sparks has served as president of the Soil Science Society of America and the International Union of Soil Sciences.

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Neil C. Sturchio Neil C. Sturchio, Professor and Chair, Geological Sciences

Neil Sturchio's research activities include basic and applied geochemical and isotopic studies in the laboratory and the field, over a wide range of scales from atomic to continental. Current studies include development of applications of noble gas radionuclides as tracers of groundwater and natural gases; investigations of perchlorate isotopic compositions in the environment; synchrotron radiation studies of mineral-fluid interfacial processes; investigations of the soil carbon cycle using natural and fallout radionuclide profiles; sedimentation rate determinations for EPA's Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program; isotope effects of RDX biodegradation by various microbial strains; and a watershed model for nitrate in the Upper Illinois River watershed. He came to UD in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Carolyn Thoroughgood Carolyn Thoroughgood, Professor, Marine Science and Policy

Carolyn Thoroughgood is a professor in the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware. Thoroughgood is also the special assistant to the provost for program development at UD and president of the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Observing Regional Association (MACOORA).

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Dionisios Vlachos Dionisios Vlachos, Allan and Myra Ferguson Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director, University of Delaware Energy Institute

Dion Vlachos holds a joint appointment as a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware. He also directs the UD node of the manufacturing institute RAPID and the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). He is the recipient of the 2016 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award, the R. H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering from AIChE (2011) and is an AAAS Fellow (since 2009). He also received a NSF Career Award and an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. His main research thrusts are multiscale modeling and simulation along with their application to catalysis, crystal growth, portable microchemical devices for power generation, production of renewable fuels and chemicals, catalyst informatics, detailed and reduced kinetic model development and process intensification.  

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Cathy H. Wu Cathy H. Wu, Edward J. Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Cathy Wu is a renowned bioinformatics researcher.  Her research group conducts bioinformatics and computational biology research and has developed a bioinformatics resource at the Protein Information Resource with integrated databases and analytical tools to support genomics, proteomics and systems biology research [Wu et al., 2003]. Wu leads the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Delaware to foster collaborative interdisciplinary research and to offer graduate degree programs in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, in order to train the next generation of researchers and educators.

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