Faculty Director: Pedro Alvarez
The Alvarez Lab Group integrates expertise in environmental biotechnology, microbiology and nanotechnology to conduct multidisciplinary and globally-relevant research on water treatment and reuse (e.g., advanced photo-oxidation processes and nanomaterial-enabled microbial control), bioremediation of contaminated aquifers, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, antibiotic resistance propagation and control, water footprint of biofuels, microbial-plant interactions, and environmental implications of nanotechnology. Whereas our research topics and methods are quite diverse (involving molecular biology, microbial ecology, contaminant hydrogeology, materials science, biogeochemistry, photochemistry, and water resources management), there are two unifying trends. First is a commitment to enhance water resources sustainability through policy-relevant research. Second is a tendency to work on the leading edge of discovery rather than on the side of refinement. We also collaborate with numerous colleagues in Latin America, China and Europe, to offer students opportunities for international integrative experiences beyond the technical core. Current funding sources include NSF, SERDP, API, and several private industries and foundations.
Faculty Director: Philip Bedient
Dr. Bedient's research group focuses on a wide-array of engineering and hydrology issues pertinent to the Gulf Coast region. As the director of the SSPEED Center, Bedient’s research group has developed storm surge protection strategies for Houston and Galveston, as well as strategies to mitigate Houston’s flooding issues in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s record-breaking rain event. This research not only covers flood mitigation, but also GIS and radar-based flood alert systems, water quality strategies and hydrologic modeling of complex watersheds.
Faculty Director: Daniel Cohan
The Cohan Research Group specializes in the development and application of photochemical models to investigate atmospheric processes and inform air quality management. The group is especially interested in how energy use impacts the atmosphere, and how air pollution, in turn, impacts human health. Current research includes a study of how uncertainty in photochemical modeling impacts environmental decision making; inverse modeling to characterize atmospheric responses to long-term emission trends; and studies exploring the air quality and economic implications of electric power generation.
Faculty Director: Reggie DesRoches
This group's research focuses on seismic resistant design and retrofit and of lifeline systems; multi-scale assessment and applications of smart and auto-adaptive materials, namely shape memory alloys, in seismic design and retrofit of buildings and bridges; and system-level design of smart and resilient cities.
Faculty Director: Leonardo Dueñas-Osorio
This group focuses on computational and theoretical models for structure and infrastructure system reliability, resilience and risk assessment in the context of natural hazards, deterioration, and complex operation. Applications include the quantification of interdependencies across critical infrastructures systems, assessment of smart grid resilience, computational complexity analysis of algorithms, development of robust topologies for networked systems, design of lifeline systems using reliability-based optimization methods, evaluation of bridge system and bridge network reliability, and prediction of wind turbine long-term availability.
Faculty Director: Rob Griffin
The research interests of the Griffin Group lie broadly in understanding the chemical and physical processes that control the spatial and temporal distribution of trace gases and aerosol particles in the troposphere. Only if such behavior is understood can the magnitude of the effects of these species on human health, climate, visibility, etc. be understood. Much of this work — including recent fieldwork collaborations with the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Houston/Baylor University — has focused on urban scale issues (in Texas and beyond) and on the link between infrastructure damage and air quality in the wake of severe storms.
Faculty Director: Qilin Li
The Li Lab Group's research focuses on the behaviors of environmental colloids and macromolecules at aqueous-solid interfaces and the subsequent impact on their fate and transport in natural and engineered systems. By studying natural water quality and advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies, this group is devoted to finding a way to a sustainable water supply.
Faculty Director: Satish Nagarajaiah
The Dynamic Systems Group focuses on research in the broad area of structural dynamic systems, earthquake engineering, advanced seismic protection, smart structures, adaptive stiffness structures, sparse structural system identification, and strain sensing using applied nanotechnology. Our goal is innovation and creative research. Our work includes theoretical, analytical and experimental studies.
Faculty Director: Jamie Padgett
Padgett’s research focuses on the application of probabilistic methods for risk assessment of structures and infrastructure, including the subsequent quantification of resilience and sustainability. Her work emphasizes transportation and energy-related infrastructure exposed to multiple hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes, or aging and deterioration.
Faculty Director: Rouzbeh Shahsavari
The Multiscale Materials Lab's research integrates a unique set of mechanics, chemistry, bio-inspired materials science, and big data to provide a transformative approach for fundamental understanding and computational-driven design, synthesis and characterization of multifunctional materials, which are critical for our infrastructure, energy and environment. Depending on the problem of interest, we employ a variety of computational and experimental techniques including (but not limited to) first-principles calculations, molecular dynamics and monte-carlo simulations, coarse-grain modeling, machine-learning, 3D printing, wet chemistry, electron microscopy, spectroscopy, and mechanical/thermal testings. These state-of-the-art tools enable developing a unified understanding of the non-intuitive behavior of materials and structures across extended time- and length-scales, followed by utilization of this knowledge for advanced fabrication of multifunctional materials and structures with never-seen-before properties.
Faculty Director: Pol Spanos
Professor Spanos' research efforts focus on the dynamics and vibrations of structural and mechanical systems under a variety of loads. Systems exhibiting nonlinear behavior and/or exposed to hazard/risk inducing conditions receive particular attention. His group is also interested in mechanical properties and fatigue/fracture issues of modern (nanocomposites, etc.) materials, and in signal processing algorithms for dynamic effects in biomedical applications.
Faculty Director: Lauren Stadler
The Stadler Lab Group at Rice University focuses on advancing resource recovery from wastewater. We combine microbial ecology, environmental chemistry, and sustainability assessment to study used water treatment processes, resource recovery, and their impact on the environment and human health. They are interested in: agricultural reuse of wastewater and antibiotic resistance; biodiversity and microbial community function in wastewater treatment; and bioprocesses for resource recovery from wastewater.
Faculty Director: Ilinca Stanciulescu
The Computational Mechanics Lab focuses on non-linear finite element formulations, and non-linear dynamics and stability of complex systems with focus on the modelling of biomaterials and of multiscale and multiphysics systems.
Faculty Director: Mason Tomson
The Tomson Lab focuses on the areas of fate and transport of organic chemicals and heavy metals in sediments and groundwater, environmental impacts of nano-particles; inhibition of mineral scale formation. The group's research impacts domestic and international oil and gas production and environmental policy through our research conducted via the Brine Chemistry Consortium and the China-U.S. Center for Environmental Remediation and Sustainable Development.