Environmental microbiology, remediation technology development, chemical transport and fate, environmental science and engineering, technical writing and presentation, urban systems analysis
Dr. Ward is the Foyt Family Chair of Engineering in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University. He is also Emeritus Faculty and former Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Ward has undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) degrees from New Mexico State University and Cornell University, respectively. He earned the M.P.H. in environmental health sciences from the University of Texas. Following 22 years as the organizing Chair of the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering at Rice University, Dr. Ward became the first Director of the Energy and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), a university-wide program designed to mobilize industry, government, and academia to focus on problems related to energy production and environmental protection. Dr. Ward has also served as Director of the Department of Defense Advanced Applied Technology Demonstration Facility (AATDF), a distinguished consortium of university-based environmental research centers supported by consulting environmental engineering firms to guide selection, development, demonstration, and commercialization of advanced applied environmental restoration technologies for the DOD. For 18 years he directed the activities of the National Center for Ground Water Research (NCGWR), a consortium of universities charged with conducting long-range exploratory research to help anticipate and solve the nation’s emerging groundwater problems. He was also Co-Director of the EPA-sponsored Hazardous Substances Research Center/South & Southwest (HSRC/S&SW), whose research focus was on contaminated sediments and dredged materials. Dr. Ward has served as President of both the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Society for Industrial Microbiology. He is the founding and current Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Society for Industrial Microbiology and a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Dr. Ward served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) for six years. During his 44-year tenure at Rice University, Dr. Ward's research has focused on microbial processes and engineering for surface and ground water quality. His current research involves microbial degradation of DNAPL source zones in the subsurface.