Julie Korak
Civil Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Dr. Julie Korak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering. Her research interests are broadly focused on water treatment engineering spanning municipal drinking water, water reuse and industrial wastewater management. Her recent projects include developing holistic water treatment and waste brine management processes for ion exchange systems and corrosion control in distribution systems. Her research has also explored using optical sensing techniques to characterize natural organic matter fate and reactivity in drinking water treatment processes. Prior to joining CU Boulder in 2018, she worked in the Water Treatment Group at the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior in Denver, CO. Dr. Korak is a licensed Professional Engineer and holds degrees in Chemical Engineering (B.S.), Environmental Engineering (B.S.), and Civil (Environmental) Engineering (M.S. and Ph.D.) from the University of Colorado Boulder. She received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2011.

Research Interests

  • Ion exchange for inorganic contaminant removal (e.g. chromium and arsenic)

  • Integration of membrane processes for water treatment waste management

  • Environmental monitoring of contaminants in watersheds using online and remote samplers

  • Evaluation of lead and copper release in drinking water systems

  • Corrosion potential screening due to municipal source water changes

  • Dissolved organic matter (DOM) characterization using optical measurements (fluorescence and absorbance)

  • Application optical sensors to monitor water treatment processes

Courses Taught

  • Environmental Engineering Processes (CVEN/EVEN 4464)

  • Special Topics: Analytical Methods in Environmental Engineering (CVEN 5834)


B.S. Chemical Engineering and B.S. Environmental Engineering (2009), M.S., Ph.D Civil Engineering (2013, 2014), University of Colorado Boulder            

Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2011)

  • Outstanding Graduate for the College of Engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder (2009)

  • Silver Medal Finalist from the Colorado Engineering Council (2009)

Recent Publications

  1. Arias-Paic, M.S.*; and Korak, J.A.; Forward osmosis for ion exchange waste brine management. Environmental Science and Technology Letters, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00733
  2. Ulliman, S.L.; Korak, J. A.; Linden, K.G.; Rosario-Ortiz, F.L.; Methodology for selection of optical parameters as wastewater effluent organic matter surrogates. Water Research, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2019.115321.
  3. Korak, J.A.; Huggins, R.; Arias-Paic, M.; Nanofiltration to improve process efficiency of hexavalent chromium treatment using ion exchange. Journal-American Water Works Association, 2018, 110 (6), E13-E26.
  4. McKay, G.; Korak, J. A.; Rosario-Ortiz, F. L. Temperature dependence of the fluorescence of dissolved organic matter: Implications for DOM photophysics. Environmental Science and Technology, 2018, 52, 9022-9032.
  5. Kennedy, A.M.; Korak, J.A.; Flint, L.; Hoffman, C.; Arias-Paic, M. Pilot-scale studies of chromium removal using stannous chloride. Journal-American Water Works Association, 2018,110 (4), E29-E42.
  6. McKay, G.M.; Korak, J.A.; Erickson, P.R.; Latch, D.E.; McNeill, K.; Rosario-Ortiz, F.L. The case against charge transfer interactions in dissolved organic matter photophysics. Environmental Science and Technology, 2018, 52, 406-414.
  7. Korak, J.A.; Huggins, R; Arias-Paic, M. Regeneration of pilot-scale ion exchange columns for hexavalent chromium removal. Water Research, 2017, 118, 141-151.