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The Water Innovation for the Future Initiative adresses grand challenges in water science including new technologies for treating drinking water, recovery and treatment of wastewater, surface water management, characterizing groundwater and subsurface conditions, and harnessing the data revolution. The ambitious challenge of leveraging engineering and systems thinking to understand how humanity can optimally change our infrastructure and lifestyles to respond to climate change is a driving force across our water research agenda. Our faculty and student research is at the forefront of developing technology and strategies to address water quantity and quality challenges that threaten our ability to maintain healthy societies and healthy environments. We welcome researchers and students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to join us in addressing this 21st century challenge.

Overview of Research

Students and faculty in CEE address both basic and applied research to secure our water resources and promote a healthy environment and healthy society. Our researchers and collaborators also are committed to fulfilling the land grant mission of UVM through extensive community-based research and graduate study.

Faculty Research Areas

Icon showing data from a water quality monitoring stationData Analytics for Water Resources

Data Vizualization, Machine Learing, Decision-making, Sensors | Learn More

Faculty involved: Donna Rizzo, Scott Hamshaw, Kristen Underwood, Luis Garcia, Appala Raju Badireddy


Icon graphic showing kayakers in Lake ChamplainWater and Human/Ecological Health

Ecohydrological resilience, ecosystem services, socio-hydrological systems, disease interaction | Learn More

Faculty involved: Arne Bomblies, Donna Rizzo, Elizabeth Doran, Appala Raju Badireddy


Icon graphic showing impact of tropical storm on VermontClimate Change Impacts on Natural & Built Infrastructure

Risk analysis, dam assessment, water hazards, extreme events | Learn More

Faculty involved: Mandar Dewoolkar, Kristen Underwood, Arne Bomblies, Elizabeth Doran


Icon showing water irrigation in an agricultural fieldWater Treatment, Reuse, and Environmental Biotechnologies

Filtration, emerging contaminants, resource recovery, nanotechnology, water efficiency | Learn More

Faculty involved: Appala Raju Badireddy, Matthew Scarborough, Eric Roy, Joshua Faulkner, Courtney Giles


Icon of a neural networkAdvanced Computational Methods in Water Resources Management

Optimization, uncertainty, deep learning, numerical methods | Learn more

Faculty involved: George Pinder, Donna Rizzo, Arne Bomblies, Bree Mathon, Clelia Marti, Scott Hamshaw, Kristen Underwood


Icon showing digital elevation model of a river systemEngineering Hydrology & Fluvial Geomorphology

Groundwater, stormwater , surface water, wetlands & floodplains | Learn more

Faculty involved: Kristen Underwood, Arne Bomblies, George Pinder, Donna Rizzo, Joshua Faulkner, Eric Roy


Research Groups

CEE faculty oversee research groups and laboratorys, where they investigate a variety of pressing challenges in the water sciences and water resource engineering. Both graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in research.

Featured Graduated Students and Post-Doc Researchers

Profile picture of Caitlin Crossett

Caitlin Crossett

Ph.D. dissertation topic: Understanding the Hydroclimatic Variability in the Northeastern US from 1979–2018.
Advisors: Arne Bomblies, Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux

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Kate Porterfield

Ph.D. dissertation topic: Optimizing biogeochemical cycling through agroecosystems to enhance the environmental, social and economic sustainability of food systems.
Advisor: Eric Roy

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Kamruzzaman Khan

Ph.D. dissertation topic: Scaling and Biofouling Control in Crossflow Membrane Systems
Advisor: Appala Raju Badireddy

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Dustin Kincaid, Post-doc

Project: Multi-scale watershed data analysis to understand ecohydrological resilience
Advisors: Scott Hamshaw, Julia Perdrial

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Lindsay Worley

Ph.D. dissertation topic: Optimization Tools to Identify and Evaluate Effective Floodplain Sites and Restoration Techniques
Advisor: Kristen Underwood, Donna Rizzo

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Amy DeCola

M.S. thesis topic: Anaerobic digestion and bioremediation for agricultural residues.
Advisor: Matthew Scarborough

More profiles of CEE Graduate Students

Featured Undergraduate Researchers

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Olivia Mead

Project: Sustainable Methods for Data Collection on Flood Inundation and Floodplain Sediment Deposition.
Advisors: Kristen Underwood, Rebecca Diehl

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Kennedy Brown

Project: Studying the potential of anaerobic digestion as an alternate waste management system in order to address animal agriculture and food waste issues.
Advisor: Matthew Scarborough

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Calvin Blackwell

Project: Estimation of total suspended solids using satellite-based remote sensing in the Lake Champlain basin.
Advisors: Scott Hamshaw, Luis Garcia

Profile picture of Linh Nguyen

Linh Nguyen

Project: Exploring the detection and delineation of hydrological events from turbidity sensor data to study watershed sediment dynamics.
Advisor: Scott Hamshaw

Example Student Projects

  • Graduate student Cam Twombly in an agricultural field with monitoring infrastructure

    Understanding hydrology and limiting phosphorus loss from agricultural lands in the Northeast

    Agricultural runoff is one of largest contributors of phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment affecting freshwater systems. However, limited data exists on the effects of best management practices (BMPs). To address this need, M.S. student Cameron Twombly developed edge-of-field monitoring sites that were used to compare water-related ecosystem services provided by conventional and alternative management regimes. He then utilized watershed models to test the use of phosphorus runoff risk identification tools and develop recommendations for improving them to better account for field-scale hydrologic processes.

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Two graduate students perform a laboratory analysis

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Click Here for CEE Water for the Future Flyer

Graduate Programs

Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering

M.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Highlighted CEE Course Offerings

  • CE260 - Hydrology
  • CE262 - Advanced Hydrology
  • CE263 - Applied River Engineering
  • CE265 - Groundwater Hydrology
  • CE255 - Physical/Chemical Processes of Water/Wastewater
  • CE256 - Biological Processes of Water/Wastewater Treatment
  • CE359 - Applied Artificial Neural Networks

Explore All CEE Courses

Links & Partners

CEE's Water for the Future Initiative includes collaborations with many organizations and companies.

Logo of the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM

Logo of the CUAHSI organization

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Logo for Stone Environmental

Logo for Transcend engineering

Logo of Watershed Consulting Associates

Fitzgerald Environmental Associates LLC Logo

SLR Company Logo

The Nature Conservancy Vermont Logo