Texas Tech University

Department News

Faculty Awards

Dr. GuelfoDr. Jennifer Guelfo awarded 2024 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Reserach Award.
Dr. Jennifer Guelfo, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University, has been selected for the 2024 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award. The award is the most prestigious honor given to young faculty members at Texas Tech University. Dr. Guelfo's research is focused on occurrence, fate, transport, and remediation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.” Read more. Image: Dr. Guelfo (center) with President Lawrence Schovanec (right) and Chancellor Tedd Mitchell (left) 

Dr. Seo

Dr. Huyoung Seo Awarded President's Excellence in Teaching Award.




Dr. LinDr. Ting Lin Awarded Charles L. Burford Faculty Award.



Dr. MillerickDr. Kayleigh Millerick Awarded the Jerry S. Rawls Distinguished Undergraduate Educator Award.



Dr. ChenDr. Xinzhong Chen Awarded ASCE Scanlan Medal.
CECE faculty, Dr. Xinzhong Chen has been selected by ASCE's Engineering Mechanics Institute to receive the 2024 Robert H. Scanlan Medal for "advancing the field of aerodynamics of buildings and bridges through development of analysis, modeling, and simulation approaches." This award is one of the major awards in the fields of Engineering Mechanics, Wind Engineering, and Aerodynamics. Dr. Chen has also been a recipient of ASCE Jack Cermak Medal in 2017, making him one of the few researchers who have been awarded both the Scanlan and Cermak Medals. Read more.

dr. AmyDr. Amrika Deonarine Awarded the Phenomenal Women of Texs Tech University Award. 



Dr. NejatDr. Ali Nejat's project "Development of a Resilience Roadmap for the Rio Grande Valley Region" has been awarded the 2024 President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award.


Research Highlights

Dr. ReibleDr. Danny Reible Leads Texas Tech $1.6M Grant to Pioneer Carbon-Free Hydrogen Production.
CECE professor Dr. Danny Reible and Dr. Qingwang Yuan (PETE) have received over $1.6 million from ARPA-E as part of a $20 million investment to accelerate the natural subsurface generation of hydrogen. Their project aims to enhance hydrogen production through chemo-bio-physical stimulations, exploring methods to stimulate geological hydrogen across iron-containing rocks. Partnering with industry leaders and national laboratories, they seek to optimize processes for carbon-free hydrogen production, potentially revolutionizing renewable energy development and environmental sustainability. Read More.

Dr. GhebrabDr. Ted Ghebrab and TTU's interdisciplinary team awarded the Wind Turbine Recycling Phase 1 Prize.
Dr. Ghebrab along with other team members won an award for developing innovative methods to recycle decommissioned wind turbines. The $75,000 grant, awarded by the Department of Energy, aims to address the challenge of effectively managing the growing volume of retired turbine blades. The project will focus on developing cost-effective and environmentally sustainable recycling solutions, ultimately contributing to the advancement of renewable energy technology and mitigating environmental impact. Read More.

Dr. WalkerDr. Shane Walker, Professor and Director for Water Resources, receives a DOE grant for a project titled 'NAWI Salt-Free Electrodialysis Metathesis for High-Recovery Concentrate Management.'

Project Summary: Fujifilm's salt-free EDM process will be evaluated for RO concentrate treatment at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF).

Project Description: For water-scarce regions, desalination is more valuable than ever, and abundant brackish groundwater resources are being identified throughout the U.S.  For inland brackish groundwater desalination, concentrate disposal often governs the project, so brine volume-minimization is essential.  Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most common desalination method in the U.S., but recovery is often limited to 70-85% due to sparingly soluble minerals in the concentrate.  This project sponsored by the DOE National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) will evaluate Fujifilm's salt-free electrodialysis (EDM) process, a high-recovery process that produces: (1) a diluate product that can be blended with RO permeate, and (2) two highly soluble concentrate streams by separating divalent cations and divalent anions.  The objectives are to: (a) evaluate Fujifilm's salt-free EDM in a solar-powered desalination pilot at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility (BGNDRF), (b) understand the limits of hydraulic recovery of salt-free EDM, and (c) develop a salt-free EDM model within the WaterTAP modeling platform.  Salt-free EDM could improve the feasibility of small-scale desalination by decreasing the required size of a concentrate evaporation pond. (Co-PIs: Dr. Eva Deemer, University of Texas at El Paso, and Dr. Pei Xu, New Mexico State University)

Dr.Park_researchDr. Sunghyun Park, Assistant Professor, is investigating cross frame stiffness and stability in steel bridges. The behavior of cross-frames varies depending on bridge conditions and loading types. Additionally, the approach used to model cross-frames can significantly impact performance predictions for girder stability during construction and for cross-frame fatigue under in-service traffic loading. Dr. Park's research includes laboratory tests, field experiments, and finite element analysis. Image: Dr. Sunghyun Park and an example of criss-frame.


"What we are doing right now has the potential to influence the design of tornado-resistant buildings."Learn more about Dr. Delong Zuo (NWI faculty member and professor in Civil and Wind Engineering) and his dedication to forming a wind-resilient community here. Image: Dr. Zuo in front of tornado damage, photo courtosy of Texas Tech Today.

Student Awards

Abigail TorresCECE graduate student, Abigail Torres wins Sallie Mae & Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship.
Abigail Torres, a CECE graduate student is one of the only 10 recipients nationwide to receive a $10,000 college scholarship from Sallie Mae & Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarship also known as the Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students. Read more about her interview here.



Yongli Wang, an Environmental student, is a recipient of 2023 Anchor QEA scholarship Award.

Yongli Wang is a recipient of 2023 Anchor QEA Scholarship Award. This award was given to four students including Yongli from different universities all across the United States. His research is situated at the intersection of environmental chemistry, microbiology, geology, and statistics, incorporating both engineering and environmental science methodologies. His Ph.D. work has two primary objectives: (i) identifying the factors that influence methylmercury production, with a focus on the distribution and gene transfer of mercury methylation-related microbes across various habitats such as marine and freshwater sediments, and (ii) exploring the correlations between climate change, elemental cycles, and mercury methylation processes during flooding or significant rainfall events. Their research methodology encompasses field sampling, laboratory-based column studies, meta-omics analyses, and geochemical analyses.ResearchDiagram

The outcomes of their research endeavor to enhance the prediction of methylmercury production in sediments and assess the risk of exposure to communities, particularly amidst changing climatic conditions. Additionally, these findings could provide insights into ecological impacts and site remediation strategies, indicating the potential of innovative genetic technologies and meta-data analysis to improve sediment remediation and risk assessment practices. His research on methylmercury aims to contribute to environmental improvement by comprehending its impacts on aquatic ecosystems, thereby benefiting both nature and local communities. Images: Yongli Wang and the graphical abstract for research

Department of Civil, Environmental, & Construction Engineering