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Andrew J Whelton

Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Director of the Healthy Plumbing Consortium, Lead for the Center for Plumbing Safety

Purdue University
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051

Office: HAMP 3145E
Phone: (765) 494-2160
Email: awhelton@purdue.edu
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheWheltonGroup
CV: http://purdue.edu/CE/People/Faculty/Whelton-Andrew-CV-Nov-2021.pdf

Specialty Area(s)

Education

  • Postdoc., Polymeric Materials
    National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2011
  • Postdoc., Environmental Nanotechnology
    Virginia Tech, 2010
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering
    Virginia Tech, 2009
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering
    Virginia Tech, 2001
  • B.S., Civil Engineering
    Virginia Tech, 2000

Research Summary
Dr. Whelton and his team investigates and solves problems that affect our natural and built environments. His expertise focusses on environmental chemistry and engineering, disasters, polymer science and engineering, water quality, infrastructure, and public health.
Plumbing Safety website
Cured-in-Place-Pipe (CIPP) Safety website

Selected Publications

  • Sendesi S.M.T., Ra K., Conkling E.N., Boor B.E., Nuruddin M., Howarter J.A., Youngblood J.P., Kobo L.M., Shannahan J.H., Jafvert C.T., Whelton A.J. 2017. Worksite Chemical Air Emissions and Worker Exposure during Sanitary Sewer and Stormwater Pipe Rehabilitation Using Cured-in-Place-Pipe (CIPP). Environmental Science & Technology Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00237
  • Whelton, A.J., McMillan, L., Connell, M., Kelley, K.M., Gill, J.P., White, K.D., Gupta, R., Dey, R., Novy, C. 2014. Residential Tap Water Contamination Following the Freedom Industries Chemical Spill: Perceptions, Water Quality, and Health Impacts. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es5040969
  • Kelley, K., Stenson, S., Dey, R., Whelton, A.J. 2014. Release of Drinking Water Contaminants and Odor Impacts Caused by Green Building Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Plumbing Systems. Water Research. 67 (15), 19–32.
  • Tabor, M., Newman, D., Whelton, A.J. 2014. Stormwater Chemical Contamination Caused by Cured-In-Place Pipe (CIPP) Infrastructure Rehabilitation Activities. Environmental Science & Technology. 48 (18), 10938–10947.
  • Donaldson, B.M., Whelton, A.J. "Water Quality Implications of Culvert Rehabilitation Technologies: A Field Study of Cured-in-place Pipe and Spray-on Liner Technologies," J. of the Transportation Research Board, 2013.
  • Greifenstein, M., White, K.D., Stubner, A., Hout, J., Whelton, A.J. "Impact of Temperature and Storage Duration on the Chemical and Odor Quality of Military Packaged Water in Polyethylene Terephthalate Bottles," J. of the Science of the Total Environment, 2013, pg. 376-383.
  • Whelton, A.J., Nguyen, T. "Contaminant Migration from Polymeric Pipes used in Buried Potable Water Distribution Systems: A Review," J. of Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 43/7, 2013, pg. 679-751.

Bio

Andrew Whelton, Ph.D. is a Purdue University associate professor of civil, environmental, and ecological engineering, who is a nationally recognized environmental engineer with 20 years of experience in the infrastructure, public health, and environment areas. At Purdue, he leads the Healthy Plumbing Consortium and Center for Plumbing Safety, and several other initiatives with multiple university and industrial collaborators.

In recent years, his teams have unearthed previously undocumented and fatal human health and environmental threats associated with plastic manufacture. His teams have also responded to support communities devastated by wildfires. Over the past two decades, his teams have positively changed how government agencies (EPA, CDC, NRC, NIOSH, NIST), water utilities, nonprofit organizations, health departments, state legislatures, and building owners approach their responsibilities.

A hallmark of Professor Whelton’s work is his direct assistance to communities at risk. Additionally, briefings to inform state executives, the Oregon House of Representatives, Indiana Senate, the National Academies of Sciences Public Health Wildfire Workshop, Standing Committee on Disaster Science, and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board have been delivered. In 2015, the National Science Foundation created a 2015 “Science Nation” video to highlight his team’s work as benefiting U.S. public safety and welfare. In 2014, he was called in by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin after the Freedom Industries chemical spill.

Throughout his career he has worked to share knowledge with the public, industry, and government officials so better decisions and policies can be made. He has organized and presented town hall meetings, contributed to public press, scientific literature, and presentations, and provided government agencies public messaging and press conference advice. Study results have been shared nationally and internationally in the Associated Press, NPR All Things Considered, New York Times, USA Today, CBS Evening News, among others. In 2021, Professor Whelton released a freely available course on plastics in infrastructure and co-developed a public health building water safety course.

Before joining Purdue, Professor Whelton served on the faculty at the University of South Alabama, and worked for the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Building Fire Research Laboratory, Virginia Tech, U.S. Army, and private engineering consulting firms. He’s authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 250 presentations. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.