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Andrew J Whelton

Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering

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

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 nationally recognized for water infrastructure disaster response and recovery. Dr. Whelton has applied his unique skill set for 16 years to uncover and address problems at the interface of infrastructure materials, the environment, and public health. Topics pertaining to disaster response and recovery as well as construction site safety are just two of many topics his research has impacted. Dr. Whelton’s discoveries have positively changed how government agencies (EPA, CDC, NRC, NIOSH, NIST, ARMY), water utilities, nonprofit organizations, health departments, state legislatures, and building owners approach their responsibilities. Since February 2019, his team has been assisting in the 2018 Camp Fire response and recovery, the largest most destructive fire in California’s history including conducting a survey and hosting a public meeting about drinking water and plumbing after the Camp Fire. Previously, his team’s discoveries resulted in briefing invitations by the Indiana Senate, the National Academies of Sciences Standing Committee on Disaster Science, and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Here, he helped agencies understand emerging public health issues, their root-causes, and federal actions needed to prevent chemical disaster reoccurrence. In 2014, during testimony to Congress by the Natural Resources Defense Council, his water security research was cited. 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 2014 Charleston chemical spill. The incident contaminated the capitol city’s sole 50 MGD treatment plant, 2200 miles of water mains, 107 storage tanks, and 120 booster stations across 124 pressure zones. About 15% of the state’s population was affected. Through two research teams he assisted the state and community recover from the incident. His research teams have identified best practices for planning for and recovering from natural and made-made disasters that affect water systems. He has extensive experience understanding material aging and chemical fate in water distribution systems and building plumbing, with an emphasis in plastic materials. Dr. Whelton has organized and presented town hall public meetings, conducted sampling at private residences, government buildings, and provided Governor’s staff feedback on evidence-based public messaging, and engaged in press conferences. At present, he’s leading a nationally funded drinking water plumbing safety initiative with multiple universities and industrial collaborators. His research efforts have been supported by $4.8 million dollars from government and private sectors. Before joining Purdue University, he 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 50 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 200 presentations. A hallmark of his work is direct engagement with communities at risk. His teams have established websites (www.PlumbingSafety.org; www.CIPPSafety.org) to make discoveries accessible to the public and communities of interest. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.