Principal Investigator

Zitomer

Daniel H. Zitomer, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Marquette University

Engineering Hall, 435B
Tel: +1 (414)-288-5733
Fax: +1 (414)-288-6149
E-mail: daniel.zitomer@marquette.edu

Dr. Zitomer joined Marquette University in 1995 after working in the environmental engineering design and consulting industry. His areas of expertise are industrial and municipal wastewater management and biotechnology for waste treatment as well as renewable energy with focus in anaerobic bioprocesses. He has performed research for the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and State of Wisconsin as well as many industries and municipalities. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed journal and proceedings papers in environmental engineering and international service learning.

He was named Marquette University Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering in 2008 and a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers in 2012. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

Dr. Zitomer is active in publication and professional organizations, serving as associate editor of Water Environment Research, a management committee member of the International Water Association Anaerobic Digestion Specialty Group, Chair of the Central States Water Environment Association Educational Seminar Committee, vice chair of the Industrial Waste Committee, and incoming vice chair of the Wisconsin Section.

Along with being active in professional organizations, Zitomer is active in research administration, serving as Marquette University Site Director of the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center on Water Equipment and Policy, Director of the Marquette Water Quality Center, and a member of the Marquette College of Engineering Research Committee.

Dr. Zitomer received the Water Environment Federation Fair Distinguished Engineering Education Medal (2008), the Central States Water Environment Association Radebaugh Award (2008, 2011) and the Marquette University College of Engineering Outstanding Researcher Award (2009). He was a member of the team nominated for the 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers National Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award (OCEA) for a project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society (design and construction of the Motagua Bridge- La Garrucha, Guatemala).

He teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in environmental engineering, biotechnology for waste management, industrial waste treatment and hazardous waste management.

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Zitomer earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Drexel University (1988) as well as his MS and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University (1991 and 1994) where he worked with R. E. Speece and W. W. Eckenfelder.

Faculty Partners

Zitomer

Michael S. Switzenbaum, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Marquette University
Tel: +1 (414)-288-6629
Fax: +1 (414)-288-6149
E-mail: michael.switzenbaum@marquette.edu

Zitomer

James Maki, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Wehr Life Sciences, 407
Marquette University
Tel: +1 (414)-288-7311
Fax: +1 (414)-288-7357
E-mail: james.maki@marquette.edu

Zitomer

Krassimira R. Hristova, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Wehr Life Sciences, 208
Marquette University
Tel: +1 (414)-288-5120
Fax: +1 (414)-288-7357
E-mail: krassimira.hristova@marquette.edu

Zitomer

Brooke Mayer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Marquette University
Engineering Hall, 411
E-mail: brooke.mayer@marquette.edu

Dr. Brooke Mayer is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University.  She graduated from the Environmental Engineering program at Arizona State University (B.S. – 2004, M.S. – 2006, Ph.D. – 2008), where she taught from 2008 – 2012.  Her research and teaching interests primarily relate to sustainable drinking water treatment and environmental microbiology.  Recent research projects have included:

  • Assessment of the removal and inactivation of emerging viruses using enhanced coagulation and ultraviolet disinfection
  • Development and validation of new techniques for detecting and quantifying infectious waterborne viruses
  • Use of titanium dioxide photocatalysis for the reduction of disinfection byproduct formation
  • Identification and evaluation of novel techniques for the removal and recovery of phosphorus from water and wastewater
    Dr. Mayer has also taught a variety of engineering courses, including: Technology,
    Society, and Sustainability; Global Engineering; Statics; Engineering Business
    Practices; Numerical Methods; Unit Operations; and Environmental Microbiology.

    Current Project Title: Sustainable treatment systems for municipal anaerobic
    wastewater treatment
    Co-PI: Dr. Daniel Zitomer
    Focus: removal and recovery of nutrients

Zitomer

Patrick McNamara, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Marquette University
Engineering Hall, 413
E-Mail: patrickmcnamara@gmail.com

Patrick is an assistant professor in the environmental engineering group at Marquette University, where he is currently investigating wastewater biosolids gasification for energy generation and biosolids use. His global research interest is centered on the sustainability of wastewater treatment, which includes developing systems that conserve energy and are robust. Patrick's planned research program focuses on understanding the role of micropollutants in the built and natural environment. His goal is to secure a tenure track position combining research with teaching. His M.S. and Ph.D. studies were in Civil/Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (2008, Dr. D. Lawler, advisor) and the University of Minnesota (2012, Dr. P. Novak). His dissertation research quantified the fate of micropollutants during advanced anaerobic digestion. He also determined the impacts of triclosan, a household antimicrobial agent found at mg/
kg concentrations in digested biomass, on the microbial community structure and function of methanogenic systems. He employed molecular techniques to observe changes in microbial communities and abundance of resistance genes. For his M.S. research, he developed improvements to sludge dewaterability and reduced polymer usage for biosolids handling, operated bench-scale anaerobic digesters, and performed full-scale testing at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant. Patrick was awarded the Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship from the Water Environment Federation in 2010 and was an NSF IGERT fellow while at the University of Minnesota.

Research Project: Pyrolysis of Wastewater Biosolids
PI: Dr. Jon Koch, Co
-PI: Dr. Daniel Zitomer

Lab Manager

Zitomer

Mike Dollhopf
Manager of Water Quality Center and Hydraulic Laboratories
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tel: +1 (414)-288-3523
Fax: +1 (414)-288-6149
E-mail: michael.dollhopf@marquette.edu

Mike Dollhopf is the Laboratory Manager for the Water Quality. He received a Master's degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in the field of microbiology, with emphasis on environmental and molecular microbiology, biogeochemistry, and environmental studies. For his degree, he isolated and studied new species of metal respiring bacteria using electrochemical techniques. Mike is presently the Manager of the Hydraulics Laboratory, College of Engineering Lab Safety Officer, and Chemical Hygiene Manager for the College of Engineering. Besides work at UW-Milwaukee, he has worked at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA developing sensors to detect signatures of life for placement on remote landers. Mike also worked at Michigan State University using bioaugmentation techniques for remediating field sites contaminated with chloroethene compounds using microbial consortia enriched in lab and then injected into the contaminated sites and monitored in situ using molecular techniques. Mike more recently worked at Florida State University, investigating metal reducing and other physiologically important microbes in salt marshes and coastal wetlands, and also was involved as chemical analyst for a water quality assessment of the Apalachicola Bay National Estuary Research Reserve. In the Marquette Water Quality Center, Mike is responsible for lab safety, upkeep, and instruction on proper use of lab equipment (ICP-MS, GCs, TOC analyzer, Kjeldahl apparatus, PCR cyclers, temperature-controled room, incubators, freezers), and graduate and undergraduate student supervision. Mike also enjoys working on the many projects proposed by undergraduate groups involved with testing contaminated water purification processes for use in underdeveloped countries. Mike is a Milwaukee native, and is enjoying life back in his hometown area with two young boys who he is proud to say are becoming rabid Packer fans.

Post Doc

Zitomer

Zhongzhe Liu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Marquette University
Engineering Hall, 435
E-Mail: zhongzhe.liu@marquette.edu

Zhongzhe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University, where he is currently working on the thermochemical conversion of biosolids. His project includes the design and construction of a process demonstration pyrolytic system, the production and characterization of value-added fertilizer (biochar), the in-situ catalysis of pyrolytic vapor, and the process simulation and optimization. His global research interest is centered on the beneficial reuse of solid waste and wastewater biosolids for energy and resource recovery, such as synthetic fuel production and valuable metal extraction. Zhongzhe received his M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Shanghai University (China) in 2008, where he worked on the thermochemical and environmental analysis of biosolids and studied speciation of heavy metals during thermal treatment of biosolids. Additionally, he investigated the recovery of copper from industrial biosolids via hydrothermal processes. Zhongzhe earned his Ph.D. degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from University of California, Riverside in 2013. His doctoratoral research focused on synthetic fuel production (e.g. synthetic natural gas, Fischer Tropsch diesel) using waste with in-situ CO2 capture via sorption-enhanced gasification. His study was also aimed to optimize different novel processes for fuel and chemical production using Aspen Plus software. He is experienced in high temperature and pressure reactor design, construction and optimization.

Research Project: Pyrolysis of Wastewater Biosolids
PI: Dr. Jon Koch, Co
-PI: Dr. Daniel Zitomer

Ph.D. Students

Zitomer

Kaushik Venkiteshwaran
PhD Student
Tel: +1 (414)-534-0860
E-mail: kaushik.venkiteshwaran@marquette.edu

Kaushik Venkiteshwaran is currently pursuing his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Marquette University. His research involves bioaugmentation, i.e. the addition of specialized microorganisms to anaerobic digesters to increase biogas production and stability. He uses molecular techniques to link microbial community structure with digester function. Kaushik earned his Bachelors in Biotechnology in 2007 from ICFAI University at Dehradun (India) and interned at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), an R&D facility in Hyderabad (India). There he was part of a research team harnessing bio-hydrogen from industrial wastewater by anaerobic fermentation and photo-biological routes. He completed his MS (2010) in Civil Engineering at Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y, under the guidance of Dr. Stefan J. Grimberg. His dissertation research focused on improving methane production for on-farm anaerobic digesters. Kaushik was awarded the Cecil Lue-Hing Scholarship, Matthew's Scholarship, and Joseph A. and Dorothy C. Rutkauskas's Scholarship at Marquette University. He is presently the President of the Central States Water Environment Federation Marquette University Student Chapter. Kaushik anticipates completing his PhD by fall of 2013 and will be pursuing faculty and post-doctoral opportunities to continue his planned research and teaching objectives to improve biological processes and develop sustainable solutions.

Research Project: Bioaugmentation in Anaerobic Digestion: Linking Microbial Activity and Community Structure with Reactor Performance
PI: Dr. Daniel Zitomer

Matthew Seib
Ph.D Student
E-mail: matthew.seib@marquette.edu

Matt Seib is currently a Ph.D. student at Marquette University conducting research on anaerobic membrane bioreactors to treat municipal wastewater at low temperatures. Seib received a B.S. in civil engineering (2008) from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. As an undergraduate he had internships working for Lunda Construction Company (2005), R.A. Smith National (2006-2007), and Applied Technologies, Inc. (2008). As part of a collaborative undergraduate research project he also conducted particle size distribution analysis on stream sediments for a watershed phosphorus transport study. He also spent several weeks in Bangladesh where he shadowed a water resources engineer working to alleviate problems with arsenic contamination in drinking water. Seib received a M.S. in environmental engineering (2011) with a focus on sustainable design through the Masters International program at Michigan Tech. In conjunction with Peace Corps, he spent two years (2009-2011) as a water/sanitation engineer in Mali, West Africa, where he conducted research examining water quality at different sources and points-of-use in the village where he was living. His research demonstrated that drinking water was acquiring microbial contamination between source and point-of-use. The research also identified a potential cost-effective method that can be used both for water testing and as a teaching tool for hygiene education. Upon graduation, Seib intends to work as a research or consulting engineer with the goal of developing and promoting sustainable wastewater treatment technology. Seib was awarded the Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship from the Water Environment Federation in 2012.

Research Project: Anaerobic membrane bioreactor for municipal wastewater at ambient temperature
PI: Dr. Daniel Zitomer

Zitomer

Dan Carey
(Co-advised by Dr. Patrick McNamara)

PhD student
E-mail: daniel.carey@marquette.edu

Dan Carey is currently p
ursuing a Ph.D. at Marquette University in environmental engineering. Dan is investigating antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment systems, a potentially serious problem that threatens public health.  Antibiotic resistance in bacteria has been known to arise from exposure to antibiotics, but recent literature has shown that antimicrobials used for personal hygiene and sanitation may also have an active role in the proliferation of resistance to clinically important antibiotics.  Given that antimicrobials accumulate in wastewater treatment, antimicrobials in these systems could have a larger than anticipated impact in antibiotic resistance in the environment.  The goal of this research is to elucidate how triclosan and triclocarban contribute to antibiotic resistance in anaerobic digestion and define which antibiotics are most susceptible to resistance. Dan earned his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University (2012) where he worked with Dr. David Ladner on developing sustainable membrane harvesting techniques for algae to be used for algal biofuel processing; he also identified and tested waste products as potential nutrient sources for algal cultivation. Dan was trained in the fundamentals of wastewater treatment, process development, and bioremediation. Dan's background is originally in biomedical engineering; he earned his undergraduate degree in 2009 from Clemson University in bioengineering. From 2008 to 2011, Dan worked at a biomedical engineering firm, Poly-Med, Inc., where he developed and synthesized medical polymers. Since at Marquette, Dan has completed a biosolids pyrolysis project in conjunction with the I/UCRC.

Research Project:
The role of antimicrobials in the proliferation of antibiotic resistance within anaaerobic digestion
Co-PIs: Dr. Patrick McNamara & Dr. Daniel Zitomer

M.S. Students

Zitomer

Thomas Hoffman
(Co-advised by Dr. Patrick McNamara)

MS student
E-mail: thomas.hoffman@marquette.edu

Thomas is investigating the estrogenicity of wastewater solids going from wastewater to biosolids. Estrogenic micropollutants can be an issue when discharging waste into streams or applying biosolids as fertilizer. Total estrogenicity is being measured through the Yeast Estrogen Screen assay and removal by pyrolysis is being studied. Pyrolysis, the incomplete conversion of a solid organic material to gas through heating in an oxygen free environment, may remove the micropollutants into the gaseous phase. The remaining solid, biochar, will be investigated as a possible media for ion exchange or other beneficial uses.

Research Project: Removal of Environmental Estrogenic Micropollutants from Wastewater Solids
Co-PIs: Dr. Patrick McNamara & Dr. Daniel Zitomer


Zitomer

John Ross
(Co-advised by Dr. Patrick McNamara)

MS student
E-mail: john.ross@marquette.edu

John is performing pyrolysis experiments on wastewater biosolids containing micropollutants to determine the fate of micropollutants following pyrolysis. John conducted a review of current pyrolysis applications for biosolids and contaminant removal and assisted in the design of the lab-scale pyrolysis apparatus. Currently, John is developing extraction methods for micropollutants from the pyrolysis by-products. John received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University (2012) and during his undergraduate work participated in a co-op program with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District where he provided assistance on a broad range of wastewater treatment and conveyance projects. John continued to work in the municipal wastewater field as a consultant with Brown and Caldwell before joining the Water Quality Center.

Current Project Title: Fate of Micropollutants Following the Pyrolsis of Biosolids
Co-PIs- Dr. Patrick McNamara & Dr. Dan Zitomer


Zitomer

Michael Syverson
MS student
E-mail: michael.syverson@marquette.edu

Michael is currently a Master of Science (MS) student at Marquette University studying Environmental Engineering. He is investigating cell lysis of municipal waste activated sludge (WAS) and its effect on anaerobic digester biogas production and volatile solids reduction. He's working in collaboration with Trojan UV, Inc. on their OpenCEL process, a cell lysis technology. Michael is operating bench-scale CSTR anaerobic reactors and determining volatile solids reduction and methane production due to OpenCEL process treatment of WAS. Michael received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University (2013). During his undergraduate career, he participated in the co-op program working at Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC where he assisted on various water resources and infrastructure projects.

Current Project Title: Digester performance and impacts of electro
poration pretreatment on influent
PI- Dr. Dan Zitomer


Zitomer

Kevin Berg
MS student
E-mail: kevin.berg@marquette.edu

Kevin is currently pursuing a M.S. degree at Marquette University in Environmental Engineering. Kevin graduated from Marquette in 2013 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. During that time, he interned with Clear Horizons, a company specializing in biogas production through anaerobic digestion of dairy manure. Kevin is currently developing his thesis, which will be in the area of anaerobic treatment of municipal wastewater. Additionally, he is investigating pyrolysis of municipal wastewater solids and restaurant food waste for reduction of solids and energy recovery. Food waste is routinely sent to landfills where it breaks down and releases methane, acombustible greenhouse gas. Rerouting this food waste steam to a renewable pyrolysis system can reduce landfill use, while harnessing potential energy in the pyrolysis process.

PI- Dr. Dan Zitomer


Undergraduates

  1. Melinda Choi

  2. Matt Marhefke

Recent Students

  1. Caitlin Collins

  2. Sarah Walsh

  3. Kevin Glauber

  4. Mike Leipus

  5. Ujwal Bhattad

  6. Navaneethan Navaratnam

  7. Ben Bocher

  8. Steven Graziano

  9. Jon Kusowski

  10. Allen Williams