delware environmental institute

Council of Fellows

Saleem Ali Saleem Ali, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment

Saleem H. Ali joined UD as Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment in September 2016. He is known for his work on environmental conflict resolution. Professor Ali previously served as Chair in Sustainable Resource Development and professor of sustainability science and policy at University of Queensland in Australia. He also was a professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, and founding director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security. Professor Ali’s research focuses on the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts and how ecological factors can promote peace. Much of his empirical research has focused on environmental conflicts in the mineral sector and the extractive industries.

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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. 

Curriculum vita

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

Michael Chajes’s research focuses on bridge testing and evaluation, as well as sustainable engineering and policy. He has taught classes in structural analysis and design, sustainable infrastructure, and 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 co-chair of UD’s Sustainability Task Force, and is a board member of Delaware’s Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU). 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 is focused on technology policy innovation for 21st century freight systems, with a specific focus on international shipping and coastal marine policy. He has more than 20 years’ experience providing engineering, technology, and policy studies to industry, government, and other organizations. Dr. Corbett was a lead author of seminal studies evaluating international shipping’s role in use of technology to meet stewardship goals. Among more than 175 publications, Dr. Corbett coauthored the 2000 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Study on Greenhouse Gases from Ships, the Second IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2009, and the IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2014.

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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. Dr. 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.  Dr. Duke joined the faculty in 1998 and is an associate editor at Water Resources Research. He also co-edited the Oxford Handbook of Land Economics. His primary appointment is in Applied Economics and Statistics, and he also holds joint appointments in the Economics Department, the School of Marine Science and Policy, and the Legal Studies Program at UD.

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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, environmental physical-chemical processes, and environmental nanotechnology, 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. He is the awardee of the 2017 Distinguished Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Asian American Engineer of the Year Award and Conference.

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Yan Jin Yan Jin, Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences

Yan Jin's research interests are in measurement, modeling, and interpretation of mass transport and transformation in soil and other environmental systems. Her current research interests include (1) colloid (natural colloids, nanoparticles and microorganisms) retention and transport in saturated and unsaturated soils; (2) colloid mobilization and its relation to biogeochemical cycling of organic carbon in redox-active environments (e.g., wetlands); (3) fate and bioavailability of colloidal phosphorous released from agricultural sources in watersheds; (4) effects of physicochemical properties and hydrological processes on microbial contamination of fresh produce; and (5) biophysics of the rhizosphere. Dr. Jin is a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and recipient of Don & Betty Kirkham Soil Physics award.

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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

In addition to her appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sue McNeil holds joint appointments in the School of Public Policy and Administration 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. She is particularly interested in understanding the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on infrastructure. She is the editor-in-chief of 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 metallic nanoparticles and nanorods, trace metal detection of chemical toxins using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), and structure-property-processing relationships in homopolymers and random copolymers of biosynthesized and biodegradable poly(hydroxybutyrate). A parallel activity in the design and construction of novel instrumentation for investigating spectroscopic 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

As director of UD's Community Engagement Initiative, Daniel Rich works across all of UD's colleges to strengthen the scholarship of engagement and generate opportunities for students and faculty to contribute to addressing critical issues for communities at all levels, local to global. He also serves as senior policy fellow in the Institute for Public Administration. From 2001-2009 he was provost of the University of Delaware. Dr. Rich is the recipient of the University of Delaware’s Medal of Distinction, and in 2016 he was inducted into the Delaware Order of the First State for his contribution to improving education for all students. A recipient of the university’s excellence-in-teaching award, Dr. Rich’s publications include 13 books, edited volumes, and more than 100 articles, monographs, and professional papers. Dr. Rich serves as policy director for the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, and his public and professional service contributions include appointments in support of preK-12 education, higher education, and community health. 

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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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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 more than 300 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, a recipient of UD's Francis Alison Faculty Award, the Geochemistry Medal from the American Chemical Society, and the Pioneer in Clay Science Award from the Clay Minerals Society. 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 chair of the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), a scientific and educational nonprofit corporation. She has also served as dean of UD's Graduate College of Marine Studies and director of the Delaware Sea Grant Program, vice provost for research and graduate studies at UD, and president of the Delaware Technology Corporation. Dr. Thoroughgood was one of the organizers and officers of the Council on Ocean Affairs, a national organization of marine academic institutions that preceded the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL). She served as CORE’s first chair of the board of governors. From 2004-2010, she served on NOAA's science advisory board. She has also served on the science advisory panel to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and she was president-elect, president, and past president of The Oceanography Society (TOS) from 2005-2010. 

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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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