Environmental Engineering Research

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Pioneering Sustainable Solutions for a Better Tomorrow

Proudly part of a tier-1 research institute, our faculty specializing in Environmental Engineering are dedicated to addressing the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. Our cutting-edge research spans across multiple disciplines — from wastewater reclamation to reducing CO² emissions — combining innovative technologies and interdisciplinary collaboration to help build the future more sustainably.

Working within and throughout academia and industry, Environmental Engineering researchers at the U work to improve public health and quality of life, while protecting and restoring environmental systems.

Research Areas

Drinking Water Treatment
Environmental Remediation
Solid Waste Management
Air Pollution Control
Wastewater Reclamation

Our Impact

Our environmental engineering research has a far-reaching impact, from influencing policy decisions to driving innovation in industry. We collaborate with governmental agencies, non-profits, and private sector partners to ensure that our research findings translate into real-world applications. By bridging the gap between academia and practice, we are making a tangible difference in the world.

Over $10 Million from Department of Energy to Support Reducing CO2 Emissions in Uinta Basin

Dr. Ting Xiao and Dr. Brian McPherson are currently engaged in a comprehensive project focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) hubs. Their work is part of the CarbonSAFE II: Storage Complex Feasibility initiative, which aims to determine the viability of commercial CO2 storage in Utah’s Uinta Basin.

Granted in large part by the Department of Energy, to project will support an extensive range of activities, including high-resolution societal analysis, geological characterization, technical assessments, economic evaluations, and environmental analyses.

Read more→

$500,000 National Science Foundation Grant for Dr. Goel's Wastwater Treatment Research

Dr. Ramesh Goel received a National Science Foundation grant for more than $500,000 in June of 2023 for his work toward energy efficient waste water treatment. The project is titled GOALI: Understanding Granulation Using Microbial Resource Management for The Broader Application of Granular Technology.

In collaboration with an industrial partner, DC Water, this academia-industry collaboration will generate a new body of knowledge related to full-scale applications of granular technology based on fundamental research and Dr. Goel’s track record in activated sludge systems, nutrient management, granular technology and omics.

Read more→

Dr. Ramesh Goel

Research Spotlight

Safeguarding Our Water

Dr. Weidhaas’ research interests emphasize biological processes and the fate and transport of contaminants and microorganisms in the environment. Her recent projects include evaluation of emerging contaminants in environmental systems, industrial wastewater treatment, waterborne pathogen detection and wastewater reuse. She also conducts research in the area of environmental microbiology including microbial source tracking, development of massively parallel pathogen detection methods, and evaluation of microorganism fate in environmental systems.

Contributing to Water Security in Pakistan

Due to global climate change, mismanagement, politics, inadequate technology, rapid population growth, and economic hardships, Pakistan is experiencing a water crises that could lead them to become a "water-starved" country. University of Utah Civil & Environmental engineers are working to change that.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that the University of Utah has partnered with the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology in Jamshoro, Pakistan, to create a research center to develop solutions for water problems plaguing Pakistan. Originally led by former U professor Dr. Steve Burian, the project is now managed by Dr. Michael Barber of our department.

Read more→

Leading Efforts on COVID-19 Research in Wastewater

In knowing how other pathogens appear in wastewater, Dr. Weidhaas realized in the midst of the pandemic that there was a need to test wastewater for COVID-19. However, when she reached out to the State of Utah to see if anyone was looking at this unique perspective of the virus, no one was.

Dr. Weidhaas partnered with the state and started pilot testing to determine the correlation between COVID-19 in the waste water and the number of cases found in certain areas. Her research has shown a correlation between the levels found in the waste water and the number of cases in certain areas. This data is being reported back to the Department of Health to provide modeling data.

Read more→

State-of-the-Art Research Labs

Our tier-1 research institute is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities that support groundbreaking environmental research. These include advanced simulation and modeling labs, water and air quality testing centers, and renewable energy laboratories. Our students and faculty have access to the latest technologies and tools to conduct their research.

Connect With Us