My teaching and research interests focus on water quality and the safety of drinking waters. I study water from source to tap: where do contaminants originate from, what is their fate in the environment, and how do we engineer treatment processes to protect public health? I am particularly interested in preventing the transmission of pathogens through water. In source waters, I aim to identify sources of pollution and understand the fate, transport, and survival of those pollutants in the environment. We are interested in waters used for potable drinking water as well as recreational water bodies. On the treatment side, I have conducted research on alternative disinfection strategies that inactivate microorganisms while also reducing the formation of potentially harmful disinfection byproducts. Lastly, I work to improve water and sanitation options around the globe. My students have studied disease transmission in Africa, drinking water treatment options in Central America, and provision of water and sanitation in impoverished communities.
At WPI, I work with undergraduate and graduate students to explore water quality issues through classroom activities, project work in the field and laboratory, and funded research. I enjoy bringing students to regional and national conferences to present their work, and to give them exposure to the broader water quality profession. Collectively, we can work toward a goal of providing safe water to people in the U.S. and globally.
Check out my recent podcast on our new Community Climate Adaptation program: https://www.americaadapts.org/episodes/adaptation-u-mastering-climate-adaptation-in-higher-education
Professional Highlights & Honors
Sarah Strauss, professor of integrative and global studies, and Jeanine Dudle, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, discuss the university’s new graduate program in Community Climate Adaptation. “We wanted to use our existing infrastructure and extend this at the master’s level to create an interdisciplinary program with a specific goal of helping communities adapt to the impacts of climate change,” Strauss said.
WPI civil and environmental engineer Jeanine Dudle and global studies professor Sarah Strauss spoke with Doug Parsons, host of the popular “America Adapts” climate change podcast, about WPI’s new Community Climate Adaptation graduate program. The program will provide value for students through a unique participatory experience and generate a strong foundation for faculty research and enhanced community impacts.