Water Quality Engineering

Traditionally, water systems research has focused on water and wastewater treatment. While these remain vibrant areas for study, access to water is increasingly affecting many industrial sectors: manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, mining, and energy production. An integrated understanding is needed of how industrial and treatment systems interact with natural processes, cycles, and systems, and managed systems (e.g., wetlands and rivers). The environmental processes include transformations of chemicals including emerging contaminants and transport/hydrologic processes. Understanding these interactions supports the development of technologies to remedy ongoing and legacy issues.

Water quality engineering is a critical area of research due to the fact that providing access to clean water is a pervasive societal challenge and has been identified as one of the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering. Water quality research within EEE ranges from optimizing low-tech, low-cost treatment methods such as bio-sand filtration to high tech and emerging technologies such as ultra-violet disinfection and nanotechnologies.