Yongsheng Chen, Ph.D.

2009 – Present
Director and Principal Investigator at the N.E.W. Center
Bonnie W. and Charles W. Moorman IV Prof. of Civil & Env. Eng.

Research interests: Environmental applications of nanotechnology, including synthesizing novel nano-materials for removal of contaminants from different media and monitoring environmental pollutants; urban sustainability, including water/energy use efficiency and sustainable biofuels, focusing on algae related biofuel downstream issues; urban controlled-environment agriculture and hydroponics.

Research Scientists and Engineers

To see past researchers and students, click here.

Thomas Igou (Research Engineer II)

Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022
M.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2017
B.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2014

Research: Microalgal biotechnology; membrane bioreactors; biological process modeling

Elif Demirel (Senior Research Scientist)

Ph.D., Anadolu University, Turkey, 2015
M.S., Anadolu University, Turkey, 2007
B.S., Anadolu University, Turkey, 2004

Research: Development of polymer based nanocomposite membranes, removal of heavy metals and dyes from water and wastewater, development of nanofiltration membranes for the recovery of nutritions from wastewater

Nigmet Uzal (Senior Research Scientist)

Ph.D., Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2007
M.S., Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2002
M.S., Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2002

Research: membrane filtration, water reuse, resource recovery, sustainability science and engineering, and life cycle assessment

Mohamed ElMetwally (Research Engineer II)

Ph.D., Mansoura University, Egypt
M.S., Alexandria University, Egypt
B.S., Mansoura University, Egypt

Research: Environmental toxicology, evaluation of emerging contaminants, bioaccumulation of contaminants in biota.

Yifei Wang (Research Engineer)

Ph.D., University of Houston, Houston, 2020
B.S., Sichuan Normal University, China, 2014
Email: ywang4061@acohen47

Research: analysis and treatment of emerging contaminants, esp. per- and polyfluorokyl substance (PFAS) 

Qingquan Ma (Visiting Research Scientist)

Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2022
M.S., Beihang University, China, 2019
B.S., Beihang University, China, 2016

Research: Advanced Oxidation Process,Density Function Theory, Membrane Filtration.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Liqing Yan (Postdoctoral researcher)

Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022
B.S., Nanjing University, China, 2016

Research: Developing novel materials for removing emerging contaminants from water

Nohyeong Jeong (Postdoctoral researcher)

Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2023
M.S., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2018
B.S., Chungbuk National University, South Korea, 2016

Research: Applying artificial intelligence to understand mechanisms of membrane filtration

Yuankai Huang (Postdoctoral researcher)

Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2022
M.S., South China University of Technology, China, 2015
B.S., South China University of Technology, China, 2014

Research: Pioneering real-time water quality sensors design, renewable energy technologies development, and data-driven methods to revolutionize digital water-energy infrastructure.

Graduate Student Researchers

Lan Gan (PhD Candidate)

M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016
B.S., Nankai University, China, 2014

Research: Adsorptive membrane for water treatment

Andrew Sharkey (PhD Candidate)

B.S.B.A, University of Florida, 2010

Research: Modeling nutrient uptake and accumulation in hydroponic agriculture

Chengchao Xiao (PhD Candidate)

M.S., University of Florida, 2016
B.S., China Agricultural University, China, 2014

Research: Applying polymer-inclusion membrane for cobalt/nickel ions separation in LIBs recycling process

Abigail Cohen (PhD Candidate)

M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology
B.S., Columbia University
Research: Circular food and water economy with a focus in nutrient cycling, technologies, and risks

Yunhao Zhang (Master Student)

B.S., Technion Israel Institute of Technology, 2022

Elliot Reid (PhD Candidate)

M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2021
B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017

Research: PFAS adsorption and anaerobic biotechnologies for agricultural water reclamation

Srinivas Jalla (PhD Student)

B.S., University of New Orleans, 1994
B.E., Osmania University, 1990

Research: Membrane fouling and the accumulation of substances on the membrane surface

Thomas Gautier Ottou (Master Student)

M.S., École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers, France, 2023

Research: Improve method to manage PFASs for small water and wastewater treatments

Yushan Chen (PhD Student)

M.S., Cornell University, 2022
B.S., Shanxi University, China, 2019

Research: Apply machine learning to find eco-friendly ionic liquids for carbon capture

Raghav Dangayach (PhD Student)

B. Tech., Vellore Institute of Technology, India, 2020

Research: Aqueous phase separation of polyelectrolyte complexes for sustainable membrane production

Ahmed Ibrahim Yunus (PhD Student)

M.S. Georgia Southern University, 2022
B.S. Benedict College, 2020

Research: Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Co-Digestion of Pulp and Processing Wastewater and Solid Wastes

Zhaoyang Xiong (PhD Student)

M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019
B.S., Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, 2014

Research: Microalgae coagulation and sedimentation, smart water/digital water

Zefang Chen (PhD Student)



Dylan Lambeth (PhD Student)


Research: Machine learning to predict bioaccumulation of PFAS compounds in hydroponic lettuce

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Our lab frequently hires undergraduates to assist with research. Of these positions, 90% are for technical elective course credit. Please reach out to our group if you are interested and looking for research credit.

*indicates leadership position (e.g., MS Research Assistant, Undergraduate Research Supervisor, Research Author)

*Asher Altman:Spr ’22 – Spr ’24Caitlyn Haponik:Fall ’23 – Spr ’24
Ashley Track:Spr ’24*Benjamin Missaoui (MS):Spr ’24
*Mark Lannaman (MS):Sum ’23 – Spr ’24