Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

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EEES Seeking Department Chair. Details here.

Department Overview

The Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences is a vibrant academic community with academic offerings and expertise in environmental process engineering, biosystems engineering, hydrogeology, environmental health physics and radiochemistry, environmental chemistry, and sustainable systems. We have one of the nation’s largest environmental engineering and earth sciences programs which U.S. News and World Report ranks in the top 25 for programs of its kind in the country. The department offers several degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate level.



Students who complete our graduate degrees produce high-quality research and design within Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and Biosystems Engineering.  Minors in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Policy and Geology are also available.  Our Department also offers a number of 5-year BS/MS options.

News & Announcements [All News]

The EEES department is currently completing a national search for a department chair; The announcement can be found on our Employment Opportunities Page.


The 22nd annual Clemson hydrogeology Symposium will take place April 2-4 at the Madren Center here on campus. April 2nd and 4Th are devoted to field trips while a full day of presentations will take place on April 3. The presentations will be made by Clemson faculty and students as well as scientists from the United States Geological Survey and environmental consultants. Last year over 300 were in attendance. The keynote speaker is the 2014 NGWA McElhinney Lecturer Carlos Molano. More details can be found here.


The American Water Works Association (AWWA) announced that Xiaojie (Jane) Gan has been selected to receive the First Place 2014 Academic Achievement Award for the best Master’s Thesis. Jane performed her MS thesis research at Clemson University from 2011-2013 under the tutelage of Dr. Tanju Karanfil. Jane now works for URS Corporation, in their Columbia, SC office. The Academic Achievement Award from AWWA encourages excellence by recognizing contributions to the field of public water supply. Masters theses that are relevant to the water supply industry are eligible. The award will be presented at the AWWA Annual Conference in Boston, MA during the plenary session on June 9, 2014. In addition to this prestigious recognition, Jane will receive a cash award of $3,000.


Dr. Brian Powell, Associate Professor in EEES, received the 2014 Governor’s Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Scientific Research. This is a major recognition of Dr. Powell’s research accomplishments.  In conjunction with the Governor’s Office, the South Carolina Academy of Science initiated sponsorship of this award, which is directed to a gifted young researcher (only those individuals who have completed no more than 12 years beyond the Ph.D.).  Governor’s Awards are designed to honor specifically an individual or team within the state whose achievements and contributions to science in South Carolina merit special recognition and to promote wider awareness of the quality and extent of scientific activity in South Carolina.  Dr. Powell has expertise in the understanding and prediction of the physical, chemical, and biological processes which govern the mobility of radionuclides in natural and engineered systems.  His research focuses on biogeochemical processes controlling radionuclide behavior in the environment such as sorption by minerals, interactions with nano-colloids, complexation by organic ligands, and interactions with microorganisms.
Dr. Powell will be honored at the SC Academy of Science Annual Meeting at Trident Technical College, Charleston, SC, on April 5, 2014.


Each year the Journal of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) selects one article for the “Best Advanced Treatment of Water Paper Award.” For 2013, the award was given to Daniel Olin Lewis, David A. Ladner, and Tanju Karanfil for their paper “Source water and microfiltration plant manganese control study.” According to David LaFrance, Executive Director of AWWA, The paper was selected based on its impact on the water sector and the professional and editorial quality of the paper. Given the large number of papers published in the journal each year, this is a major achievement. The award will be presented in Las Vegas, Nevada at the 2014 AWWA/AMTA Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition in March.
Daniel Olin Lewis is currently a system engineer with Duke Energy in Seneca, S.C. He earned his master’s degree in environmental engineering and science from Clemson University in 2012, working under the guidance of Drs. Ladner and Karanfil. David A. Ladner is an assistant professor and Tanju Karanfil is a professor in EEES. Dr. Karanfil was recently promoted to the position of Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Engineering and Science.


Effective January 1st, professor Dr. David Freedman has been appointed as Interim Department Chair for the EEES department.


Dr. Tanju Karanfil, former EEES department chair, has been named as the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Students for the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University. Congratulations Dr. Karanfil on your new position.


The EEES department is excited to welcome two new faculty members.  Drs. Christophe Darnault and Yi Zheng will be joining the faculty this August, increasing the Biosystems Engineering research presence and teaching BE undergraduate and graduate courses.

Clemson Biosystems and Bioengineering Grad Students Win big at “DIG South”

Biotech start-up SouthYeast Labs was born from a Creative Inquiry project in Biosystems Engineering on Zymology and the Science of Beer. Students David Thornton and Even Skjervold created a procedure for bioprospecting, characterizing, and producing native strains of alcohol producing yeast suitable for the fermented food and beverage industries. After presenting at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Beer Chemists last year, the group was urged to make these strains, unique to Clemson University's Musser Fruit Research Farm, available to the public. The team incorporated as SouthYeast Labs in January, 2014 and participated in a forum sponsored by “DIG SOUTH” (the Southeast’s interactive festival celebrating innovation and the digital economy; http://digsouth.com/). SouthYeast claimed a first place prize of $5,000 to help grow the Labs into a national commercial producer. You can try beers, wine and cider using native SouthYeast strains at breweries across the southeast. For more information contact david@southyeast.com.

Walters Wins AIPG Scholarship

Dana Walters, a Junior majoring in Geology at Clemson University, recently received a scholarship from the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) National Scholarship program. AIPG sponsors this highly competitive award as part of their mission to advance the geosciences as a profession. Dana's winning essay, which will be published in the July issue of The Professional Geologist, discussed the merits of geology as a meaningful career choice and explains how geology has a positive impact on our society. The scholarship provides financial aid to help cover academic costs for students majoring in the geosciences. Congratulations Dana!

“Brewcovery” Team Wins Second Place in the DOE ACC Clean Energy Challenge

EEES graduate students David Thornton and Karthik Gopalakrishnan took home the second place award at 2014 ACC Clean Energy Challenge, held at the University of Maryland on March 26th. The team made it to the final four with their biointegrated process, "Brewcovery," for converting food and brewery wastes into biodiesel, sustainable animal feeds and organic soil amendments using a combination of larval and algal bioconversions and extractions. The group won a $5,000 prize; the grand prize of $100,000 went to Georgia Tech. Development of the Brewcovery process has begun on a 28 acre campus in Anderson, SC, with commercial operation scheduled to begin in 2015. Thornton and Gopalakrishnan are Biosystems Engineering graduate students advised by Dr. Terry Walker and Dr. Caye Drapcho. The team is also supported by EEES alum Holly Garret and SAFES graduate students Alex Pellett and Shawn Jadrnicek. You can contact the group at brewcovery@gmail.com and follow their progress at www.facebook.com/brewcovery.