Professor Becker

Dr. William Becker, co-director of the Water Reuse Program, adjunct faculty.

 

Mission

The mission of this unique program is to provide a quality graduate education with core environmental engineering curricula supported by electives that focus on water reuse. The mastery of both principles and practices is emphasized, which prepares students for a dynamic career path in the water sustainability arena

Approach

Our Environmental Engineering (EVEN) Program has always had a water reuse component and we have recently formalized our approach to water reuse in response to this growing and evolving field. Our last four faculty hires have a water reuse focus and they complement existing faculty in our research and teaching efforts. The program curriculum has been developed and is taught by EVEN faculty and senior professionals with water reuse experience and expertise. All courses are currently offered in person, as well as online in a synchronous environment. Specialization in either advanced treatment technology or water reuse management is available through elective courses.

Professor Summers

Professor R.Scott Summers, co-director of the Water Reuse Program

The Water Reuse Program offers several options for enrollment:

Water Reuse Program Short Course
We are pleased to also announce a Spring Short Course in Water Reuse which will be held virtually on March 30, 2021. This 5 hour event is designed to educate young professionals and practicing engineers in the fundamentals of water reuse treatment with a focus on potable reuse. It is recommended that attendees have a basic understanding of drinking water and wastewater treatment. The course is taught by CU Boulder professors and nationally-recognized experts, Dr. Mark LeChevallier and Doug Owen,  and covers regulations, pathogens, chemicals of concern, and treatment technologies. It looks beyond the typical approach to water reuse and covers planning and implementation.

Water Reuse Program Advisory Board
The Water Reuse Program is fortunate to have the support of 16 members of the water reuse professional field with representatives from utilities, consultants, state agencies and a utility research organization. We appreciate their insights and contributions to our program.

Co-directors

William Becker, Scholar-in-Residence, PE

Dr. Becker has 25 years consulting experience, 5 years utility experience and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at three universities – all in drinking water treatment and water reuse. His reuse experience includes direct and indirect potable reuse, nonpotable reuse and integration of reuse into water resource management portfolio. This broad experience gives him a rare perspective in helping utilities solve today’s challenging water supply and quality issue. Dr. Becker has conducted pilot studies, evaluated treatment systems, performed conceptual design for the development and optimization of water treatment systems, and trained employees, operators, and graduate students in various water treatment plant processes. He has consulted for some of the largest utilities in the country including Denver Water, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Baltimore, DC Water, Tampa, and Fairfax Water.

R. Scott Summers, Professor
Dr. Summers began working with reuse while at the US EPA in 1977-79 evaluating physical chemical treatment of wastewater with coagulation and granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption. In 1980 he was part of a team that assessed the use of ozone and GAC for treating wastewater effluent prior to groundwater injection at a 1.0 MGD demonstration reclamation facility in California, and presented these results at the AWWARF Water Reuse Symposium in 1981, with additional presentations at AIChE and ACS meetings in 1982. In the past four years he has had three PhD students and one MS student evaluating the biochar and GAC adsorption and biofitration of greywater, stormwater, wastewater effluents and CSOs for the removal of specific organic compounds. In that same time he has had three graduate students and a postdoc evaluating the coagulation, ozonation, biofiltration and GAC adsorption of disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors (both regulated and unregulated) from the effluent of treated municipal wastewater. Currently, three of his graduate students are evaluating the control of preformed DBPs in several reuse scenarios. He has over 30 reuse publications and presentations.

Faculty

Karl Linden, Professor

Dr. Linden is an expert in water quality and treatment, specifically related to beneficial reuse of impaired waters including analysis of water quality constituents and design of tailored treatment systems to meet reuse needs that are fit for purpose. His work and expertise on electrified water treatment processes such as UV, advanced oxidation and ozonation for both remediation of organic contaminants and disinfection of pathogens is known internationally. Most recently he has been working in reclamation of water from conventional and unconventional oil and gas development and has a long history of municipal wastewater reuse research. In 2014 he was the WateReuse Association’s Person of the Year and has won numerous awards for his research accomplishments.

Mark Hernandez, Professor, PE

Dr. Hernandez maintains an active sanitary engineering consulting practice focused on troubleshooting biological wastewater treatment processes. Dr. Hernandez holds several University of Colorado materials and methods patents that are licensed to companies for the treatment of mining and industrial wastes. Dr. Hernandez also has several industrial innovation and partnership grants which focus on energy recovery and sustainability aspects of wastewater treatment, both industrial and domestic.

Joe Ryan, Professor

Dr. Ryan is an environmental chemist whose research has focused on characterizing wastewater from mine drainage and mining activities, contaminated groundwater, biogeochemistry of metals transformations and contaminants from hydraulic fracturing fluids. Most recently he was the PI on a $12M NSF funded AirWaterGas network evaluating sustainability of the oil and gas operations in the Rocky Mountains.

Fernando Rosario Ortiz, Professor

The research conducted at the Rosario group deals primarily with environmental chemistry and oxidative processes (e.g., ozone) during water, wastewater and reuse treatment. The characterization of organic matter in the environment, natural and treated wastewater effluents, especially with optical properties is a focus. Ongoing research topics include environmental photochemistry of algal toxins and impact of wildfires on water quality and treatment.

Sherri Cook, Assistant Professor

The Cook Research Group specializes in the design and development of sustainable water treatment and resource recovery technologies. My group uses experimentation, process modeling, field work, and life cycle analyses to investigate three main research areas: sustainable water system design, water treatment and reuse, and material and energy recovery from waste. Her current research projects include sanitation in developing communities, drinking water system sustainability, water reuse and resource recovery, biochar as adsorbent and energy source and living hybrid materials.

Joseph Kasprzyk, Assistant Professor

Dr. Kasprzyk focuses on multi-objective decision making and model diagnostics for engineering problems in the areas of water resources planning and management, environmental engineering applications, and advancing methodological contributions to decision making and optimization under uncertainty. Current and recent projects include robust decision making for the Colorado River Basin; improving understanding of the relationship between water allocations and thermoelectric power generation; decision support for water treatment under climate extremes and multi-objective optimization for Front Range Colorado water planning. Methods utilized range from high performance computer model simulations to interactive workshops with diverse groups of water managers and stakeholders.

Julie Korak, Assistant Professor

Dr. Korak’s research interests are broadly focused on water treatment engineering spanning municipal drinking water, water reuse and industrial waste management. Her recent projects include developing holistic water treatment and waste brine management processes for ion exchange systems and evaluating corrosion of water distribution systems. Her research also focuses on using optical sensing techniques to characterize dissolved organic matter. As an engineer at the Bureau of Reclamation prior to joining CU Boulder, she worked on treatment projects for challenging water matrices, including selenium-contaminated agricultural drainage in California.

Anthony Straub, Assistant Professor

Dr. Straub has experience developing materials, processes, and theoretical frameworks to improve the efficiency and cost of seawater desalination. He has specifically worked on analyzing the energy efficiency of membrane-based and thermal seawater desalination processes and has extensive experience developing novel membrane materials that can remove contaminants present in seawater. He has also been developing and analyzing high recovery membrane-based processes for inland desalination. These processes can reduce brine waste associated with brackish groundwater desalination. Specific projects have involved theoretical energy analysis and process testing for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration systems.

Cresten Mansfeldt, Assistant Professor

Dr. Mansfeldt’s research focuses on microbiologically mediated material biotransformations in municipal, agricultural, and natural environments. Within agricultural systems, his research focuses on the fate and recapture of aqueous nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, the origin, biotransformation, and legacy of polar trace organic contaminants such as pesticides, and the resiliency of the associated microbial communities to determine the appropriate treatment and application of the runoff. Concerning livestock applications, he also investigates bioindicators of pathogenic or waste-associated bacteria to track the quality of the water in receiving stream network.

John Pellegrino, Research Profesor

Dr. Pellegrino's research revolves around fundamental membrane development, characterization, and applications. We study how the properties of both the membrane, the streams, and the choice of operating conditions control the separations and productivity results. Illustrative examples include: development of membrane-based devices as part of renewable energy-based heating and cooling systems; the use of membranes for product recovery and recycling water in algae and lignocellulosic biomass processes; and devising models for optimizing particle fractionation using membranes. Recent work includes the study and scale-up of membranes containing regular surface patterns produced with nanoscale dimensions. Currently we are incorporating these materials in studies of crystallization related to water desalination and making nanoparticles.

Mike Thurman, Research Scientist

Dr. Thurman is Co-Director of the Laboratory for Environmental Mass Spectrometry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which focuses on the detection of pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic contaminants in water and evaluating the effectiveness of methods for removing these compounds. Thurman is a 30-year veteran of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) who has focused his research in water testing.

Imma Ferrer, Research Scientist

Dr. Ferrer is Co-Director of the Laboratory for Environmental Mass Spectrometry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which focuses on the detection of pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic contaminants in water and evaluating the effectiveness of methods for removing these compounds. Ferrer is the chief analyst of CEMS and is responsible for the highest quality accuracy measurements and operation of the laboratory.

Austa Parker, Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Parker is a water reuse lead planner at Denver Water working with customers, engineers, and regulators to create and implement water reuse programs in Denver Water’s service area. Prior to Denver Water, she worked for 5 years as an engineering consultant focused on technology R&D, planning, and regulatory development for potable reuse systems across the US. She currently serves as the WateReuse Colorado President.

  • Advanced Wastewater Treatment by Coagulation, Ozonation/Biofiltration and GAC for the TOC Control, Brown and Caldwell
  • Enhancing biochar sorption of organic micropollutants in water treatment: Impacts of ash content and background dissolved organic matter, National Science Foundation
  • Advanced Wastewater Treatment by Coagulation, Ozonation/Biofiltration and GAC for the Control of Disinfection by Products, Arcadis/ Water Research Foundation/ National Science Foundation
  • Evaluation of Biofiltration and Activated Carbon Adsorption at the Peter D. Binney Water Purification Facility, City of Aurora
  • GAC Control of Regulated and Emerging DBPs of Health Concern, Water Research Foundation / Hazen and Sawyer
  • Evaluating Treatment Approaches for Sustainable Reuse of Greywater, Wastewater and Stormwater, National Science Foundation
  • Simultaneous Removal of Multiple Chemical Contaminants using Biofiltration, Water Research Foundation / Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Implementation of Decentralized Reuse and Treatment Systems, Water Research Foundation/ Hazen and Sawyer
  • Distributed UV LEDs for combined control of fouling of drip emitters and disinfection during irrigation with reclaimed wastewater effluent, US-Israeli Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD)
  • Coupled Oxidant and Ceramic Membrane Processes for Decreased Biofouling and Enhanced Flux in Water Reclamation Applications, National Science Foundation/IUCRC MAST Center
  • SRN: Routes to Sustainability for Natural Gas Development and Water and Air Resources in the Rocky Mountain Region: Water Treatment and Reuse, National Science Foundation
  • Alaska Water and Sewer Challenge - Prototype Development and Pilot Testing of in-home water reuse system University of Alaska Anchorage/ State of Alaska
  • Reinvent The Toilet Challenge: Solar Biochar Toilet, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Demonstrating Advanced Oxidation Technologies/Biofiltration on Pharmaceutical Removal in Wastewater, Water Environment Research Foundation

For additional program information, please contact R. Scott Summers, co-director of the Water Reuse program or Kelly Lewis, senior graduate program advisor.