Prof. Evan Thomas
Associate Professor • Mortenson Center Director

Department: Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

Education: BS, Broadcast Journalism (Honors), University of Colorado at Boulder (2006); BS, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder (2006); MS, Aerospace Engineering Sciences (Bioastronautics), University of Colorado at Boulder (2006); PhD, Aerospace Engineering Sciences (Bioastronautics), University of Colorado at Boulder (2009); MPH, Masters in Public Health, Oregon Health and Science University (2014​)
Teaching: EVEN 2004, Introduction to Global Engineering; CVEN 5837 Global Health for Engineers
Research: Water and air testing and treatment applied in developing communities through to operational spacecraft. Remote sensing and “Internet of Things” technologies for monitoring of water, sanitation and energy resources.

Office: SEEC N292D

Honors and Distinctions:

  • Million Lives Club - Vanguard, 2020
  • Mortenson Endowed Chair of Global Engineering, University of Colorado, 2018
  • Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Fellowship, 2015
  • NASA Johnson Space Center Fellowship, 2008-2009
  • Finalist, Canadian Astronaut Selection, 2017
  • University of Colorado at Boulder Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Alumni Award, 2015
  • University of Colorado at Boulder College of Engineering Recent Alumni Award, 2015
  • Portland State Impact Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship Award, 2014
  • NASA-JSC Engineering Achievement Medal, September 2007
  • International EnergyGlobe Awards, Rwanda National Award, 2007, 2008, 2009
  • Engineers Without Borders-USA Humanitarian Award, 2004

Recent Publications:
** denotes work done in collaboration with graduate students
* denotes work done in collaboration with undergraduate students

  • Libey, A.; Chintalapati, P.; Kathuni, S.; Amadei, B.; Thomas, E. Turn up the Dial: System Dynamics Modeling of Resource Allocations toward Rural Water Supply Maintenance in East Africa. J. Environ. Eng. 2022, 148 (4), 04022006. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001982.

  • Fankhauser, K.; Macharia, D.; Coyle, J.; Kathuni, S.; McNally, A.; Slinski, K.; Thomas, E. Estimating Groundwater Use and Demand in Arid Kenya through Assimilation of Satellite Data and In-Situ Sensors with Machine Learning toward Drought Early Action. Science of The Total Environment 2022, 831, 154453. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154453.

  • MacDonald, L.; Thomas, E.; Javernick-Will, A.; Austin-Breneman, J.; Aranda, I.; Salvinelli, C.; Klees, R.; Walters, J.; Parmentier, M. J.; Schaad, D.; Shahi, A.; Bedell, E.; Platais, G.; Brown, J.; Gershenson, J.; Watkins, D.; Obonyo, E.; Oyanedel-Craver, V.; Olson, M.; Lau, R.; Rao, G.; Arzon, A.; Krishnaswamy, K.; Pickering, A. J.; Mabey, C.; Johnson, A.; Gehr, R.; Linden, K. Aligning Learning Objectives and Approaches in Global Engineering Graduate Programs: Review and Recommendations by an Interdisciplinary Working Group. Development Engineering 2022, 7, 100095. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.deveng.2022.100095.

  • Thomas, E.; Wilson, D.; Kathuni, S.; Libey, A.; Chintalapati, P.; Coyle, J. A Contribution to Drought Resilience in East Africa through Groundwater Pump Monitoring Informed by In-Situ Instrumentation, Remote Sensing and Ensemble Machine Learning. Science of The Total Environment 2021, 780, 146486. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146486.

  • Thomas, E.; Bradshaw, A.; Mugabo, L.; MacDonald, L.; Brooks, W.; Dickinson, K.; Donovan, K. Engineering Environmental Resilience: A Matched Cohort Study of the Community Benefits of Trailbridges in Rural Rwanda. Science of The Total Environment 2021, 771, 145275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145275.

  • Thomas, E.; Salvinelli, C.; Harper, J.; MacDonald, L.; Klees, R.; Platais, G.; Javernick-Will, A.; Linden, K. A Body of Knowledge and Pedagogy for Global Engineering. IJSLE 2021, 16 (1), 37–57. https://doi.org/10.24908/ijsle.v16i1.14483.

  • Iribagiza, C.; Sharpe, T.; Coyle, J.; Nkubito, P.; Piedrahita, R.; Johnson, M.; Thomas, E. A. Evaluating the Effects of Access to Air Quality Data on Household Air Pollution and Exposure—An Interrupted Time Series Experimental Study in Rwanda. Sustainability 2021, 13 (20), 11523. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011523

  • Bradshaw, A.; Mugabo, L.; Gebremariam, A.; Thomas, E.; MacDonald, L. Integration of Household Water Filters with Community-Based Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion—A Process Evaluation and Assessment of Use among Households in Rwanda. Sustainability 2021, 13 (4), 1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041615.

  • Thomas, E.; Brown, J. Using Feedback to Improve Accountability in Global Environmental Health and Engineering. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55 (1), 90–99. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c04115.

  • Iribagiza, C.; Sharpe, T.; Wilson, D.; Thomas, E. A. User-Centered Design of an Air Quality Feedback Technology to Promote Adoption of Clean Cookstoves. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2020, 30 (6), 925–936. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-020-0250-2.

  • Thomas, E.; Gerster, S.; Mugabo, L.; Jean, H.; Oates, T. Computer Vision Supported Pedestrian Tracking: A Demonstration on Trail Bridges in Rural Rwanda. PLoS ONE 2020, 15 (10), e0241379. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0241379.

  • Goddard, F. G. B.; Ban, R.; Barr, D. B.; Brown, J.; Cannon, J.; Colford, J. M.; Eisenberg, J. N. S.; Ercumen, A.; Petach, H.; Freeman, M. C.; Levy, K.; Luby, S. P.; Moe, C.; Pickering, A. J.; Sarnat, J. A.; Stewart, J.; Thomas, E.; Taniuchi, M.; Clasen, T. Measuring Environmental Exposure to Enteric Pathogens in Low-Income Settings: Review and Recommendations of an Interdisciplinary Working Group. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54 (19), 11673–11691. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c02421

  • Thomas, E.; Jordan, E.; Linden, K.; Mogesse, B.; Hailu, T.; Jirma, H.; Thomson, P.; Koehler, J.; Collins, G. Reducing Drought Emergencies in the Horn of Africa. Science of The Total Environment 2020, 727, 138772. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138772.

  • Rasheed, R. M.; Thomas, E. A.; Gardner, P.; Rogers, T.; Verduzco, R.; Weislogel, M. M. Omni-Gravity Nanophotonic Heating and Leidenfrost-Driven Water Recovery System. Gravitational and Space Research 2020, 8 (1), 31–44. https://doi.org/10.2478/gsr-2020-0004.

  • Turman-Bryant, N.; Sharpe, T.; Nagel, C.; Stover, L.; Thomas, E. A. Toilet Alarms: A Novel Application of Latrine Sensors and Machine Learning for Optimizing Sanitation Services in Informal Settlements. Development Engineering 2020, 5, 100052. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.deveng.2020.100052.

  • Junglen, K.; Rhodes-Dicker, L.; Ward, B. J.; Gitau, E.; Mwalugongo, W.; Stradley, L.; Thomas, E. Characterization and Prediction of Fecal Sludge Parameters and Settling Behavior in Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. Sustainability 2020, 12 (21), 9040. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219040.

  • Thomas, E. A.; Kathuni, S.; Wilson, D.; Muragijimana, C.; Sharpe, T.; Kaberia, D.; Macharia, D.; Kebede, A.; Birhane, P. The Drought Resilience Impact Platform (DRIP): Improving Water Security Through Actionable Water Management Insights. Front. Clim. 2020, 2, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2020.00006.

  • Libey, A.; Adank, M.; Thomas, E. Who Pays for Water? Comparing Life Cycle Costs of Water Services among Several Low, Medium and High-Income Utilities. World Development 2020, 136, 105155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105155.

  • Hollander, D.; Ajroud, B.; Thomas, E.; Peabody, S.; Jordan, E.; Javernick-Will, A.; Linden, K. Monitoring Methods for Systems-Strengthening Activities Toward Sustainable Water and Sanitation Services in Low-Income Settings. Sustainability 2020, 12 (17), 7044. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177044.

  • Bedell, E.; Sharpe, T.; Purvis, T.; Brown, J.; Thomas, E. Demonstration of Tryptophan-Like Fluorescence Sensor Concepts for Fecal Exposure Detection in Drinking Water in Remote and Resource Constrained Settings. Sustainability 2020, 12 (9), 3768. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093768.