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Current Lab Members

John J. Lenhart, Ph.D.

Dr. John Lenhart is the lead investigator of the Environmental Surface and Colloid Processes Laboratory.  He is an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University and Co-Director of the Ohio Water Resources Center.  Dr. Lenhart graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Mechanical  Engineering where he also earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering.  Following graduation he continued his training with post doc positions with the United States Geological Survey as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow and at Yale University.  

At Ohio State, Dr. Lenhart leads research efforts dedicated to evaluating chemical and physical processes that control the fate of contaminants in aqueous systems, with an emphasis on studying interfacial phenomenon.  This research combines careful experimentation with fundamental theory in order to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for determining the fate of chemical compounds in natural and engineered systems. 


Yen-Ling Liu, Ph.D.

Dr. Liu is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Ohio State in 2018 where she studied interactions between microcystins, clay minerals and activated carbon.  As a postdoc, Dr. Liu is embarking on a study to optimize the use of activated carbon as a treatment technology for the removal of saxitoxin.





Walter Powell

Walter Powell is a second-year Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering.  He comes with a diverse academic background that includes a B.S. in Political Science and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering.  He also has his J.D., go figure, and many years of experience in information technology.  Walt is interested in the application of advanced computational methods to simulate contaminant transport in heterogeneous porous media, with potential applications to problems associated with the management of acid mine drainage and nuclear waste.





Kate Villars

Kate Villars is a second-year M.S. student in Civil Engineering at Ohio State.  She has her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia and several years of environmental engineering experience in the private and public sectors. For her research, she is evaluating the use of granular activated carbon as a treatment technology for the removal of algal toxins from persistent harmful algal blooms. 





Rachel Warren

Rachel Warren is a first-year M.S. student in Civil Engineering, having earned her B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Ohio State in 2014.  After that she worked as a consulting engineer on a variety of water resources and environmental engineering projects. For her M.S. research, Rachel is evaluating the application and validation of groundwater sensitivity models to select Ohio regions.





Pearl Chen

Pearl Chen is an undergraduate Environmental Engineering student at Ohio State expecting to graduate in December 2018.  For the past two years, she has studied the influence of naturally occurring organic acids on the aggregation behavior of nano-sized hematite.



Ally Burns

Ally Burns is a fourth-year undergraduate Environmental Engineering student at Ohio State.  She has worked for the past year on research related to the treatment of algal toxins. In fall 2018 she will begin researching competitive adsorption of multiple microcystin variants to activated carbon. 


 Past Lab Members

Graduate Students

Yen-Ling Liu (Ph.D. 2018) The Fate of Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water Sources and Treatment Processes

Asnika Bajracharya (M.S. 2017) Removal of Microcystin-LR Using Powdered Activated Carbon: Effects of Water Quality and Activate Carbon Property

Matthew Noerpel (Ph.D. 2015) Surface Complexes of Lead and Organic Acids at the Hematite/Water Interface

Mengling Yi Stuckman (Ph.D. 2014) Biotic Arsenic Mobilization in Natural and Anthropogenic Systems from Redox Transformation of Arsenic, Iron and Sulfur

Jibin Liu (M.S. 2014) Heteroaggregation of Silver Nanoparticles with Clay Minerals in Aqueous Systems

Lauren Corrigan (M.S. 2012) The Effect of Dissimilatory Arsenate-Reducing Bacteria on Arsenic Release from Spent Adsorbents under Landfill Conditions

Xuan Li (Ph.D. 2011) Fate of Silver Nanoparticles in Surface Water Environments

Qing Ye (M.S. 2011) Evaluating the role of the secondary energy minimum in colloid deposition and release in saturated porous media

Qianheng Wang (M.S. 2009) Recovery of Metal Cations from Lime Sludge Using Donnan Dialysis

Mengling Yi (M.S. 2009) Arsenic Leaching from Spent Adsorbents Under Landfill Conditions

Yu Sik Hwang (Ph.D. 2008) Adsorption of Naturally-Occurring Dicarboxylic Acids at the Hematite/Water Interface

Krishnakumar Raman (M.S. 2007) Electrolytic Treatment of Membrane Residuals

Michael Scullion (M.S. 2006) Management of PCB-Contaminated Sediments Through Sediment Characterization and Evaluation of Active Capping Techniques

Vibhash Vaidya (M.S. 2006) Evaluating Granular Ferric Hydroxide as an As-Removal Technology for Small Drinking Water Systems

Undergraduate Students

Audrey Stallworth (B.S. Env. Eng. 2017) Effect of Particle Diameter on Silver Nanoparticle Aggregation and Dissolution in Aquatic Systems

Amanda Conklin (B.S. Env. Eng. 2016) Determining the Effects of the Coagulant, Aluminum Sulfate, on the Adsorption of Microcystin-LR on Powdered Activated Carbon

Youjia Zhong (B.S. Env. Eng. 2014) Research on Arsenic Leaching from Coal Fly Ash under Different Environmental Conditions

Yilong Xiao (B.S. Env. Eng. 2014) Release Mechanism of Available Phosphorous from Sediments in Grand Lake St. Marys

Natalie Sakian (B.S. Civil Eng. 2014) Synthesis of Zeolite-Like Material from Coal Fly Ash and Bauxite Residue

Alexander Testoff (B.S. Env. Eng. 2013) Estimating the Potential Release of Thallium from Fly Ash Under Different Environmental Scenarios

Craig Ayres (B.S. Env. Eng. 2013) Developing Methodology to Prepare a Nanoparticle Coated Crystal for Infrared Analyses in Order to Specifically Identify Changes to Molecules that Coat the Surface

Zhihao Zhang (B.S. Env. Eng. 2013) Arsenic Release Batch Test for Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria (Desulfobacter postgatei)

Andrea Mobley (B.S. Civil Eng. 2012) Arsenic Release from Spent Water Treatment Adsorbents: The Role of Iron Reducing Organisms

Lauren Corrigan (B.S. Civil Eng. 2010) Evaluating the Production of Peroxide from Nano-silver

Kevin Baird (B.S. Civil Eng. 2008) Transport and Ecotoxicity of C60 Fullerenes in the Terrestrial Environment