Civil and Environmental Engineering- Separation Science

Job Type
Job Institution
Wayne State University
Job Description

At least one MS/PhD position is available in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Wayne State University ( in Detroit, MI starting in Summer/Fall 2023. The successful applicant will be expected to conduct research in a variety of areas related to applied surface chemistry and/or urban water pollution and sustainability issues related to environmental engineering. Our team is highly involved in all aspects of the waste-to-resource field with special interest in rare earth element recovery from ore concentrates and waste materials such as coal fly ash, phosphogypsum, and e-waste. Other examples of potential topics are: (1) designing sorbents to concentrate critical materials, (2) developing modified sorbents (e.g., activated carbon, biochar, bone char) to remove pollutants from urban runoff, (3) characterizing transport potential of radionuclides from contaminated sites and waste disposal facilities, and (4) developing reliable systems for urban agriculture in potentially contaminated soils (e.g., raised beds with integrated sensors, vertical agriculture, soil remediation). A BS or MS in civil and environmental engineering or related fields (other engineering discipline, geology, chemistry, etc.) is required.
Highly desirable skills in applicants are:
-Experience with sorption and porous media experiments including isotherms and columns.
-Expertise running analytical equipment such as ICP-MS, IC, UV-VIS-NIR, XRD, SEM, and/or synchrotron-based x-ray work (or a willingness and passion to learn).
-Experience with radiological samples and/or use of liquid scintillation counters (LSC).
-Hydrogeochemical and surface complexation modeling (VisualMINTEQ, PHREEQC, etc.)
-Or, describe why your skillset can complement our rare earth element recovery projects.
Tasks will include assistance with managing a research laboratory, conducting research, writing proposals, publishing papers, and presenting work at national meetings/conferences.
Interested students are encouraged to send an email introducing themselves and include the following items listed in the email text:
(1) a CV (with GPAs listed)
(2) personal and research statement (1-2 pages each), if you have them
(3) universities and disciplines for BS and/or MS, with GPAs
(4) transcripts
(5) contact information for three references
Emails should be sent to Dr. Timothy M. Dittrich ( The review process will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
Wayne State University (WSU) is one of the 50 largest public universities in the US with more than 27,000 students and the most diverse student body in Michigan. WSU is ranked in the top 100 universities in research expenditures by NSF and has a Carnegie classification of
“highest research activity – R1”. WSU is also one of the safest campuses in Michigan in the safest neighborhood in Detroit (Midtown). Midtown is a vibrant neighborhood located ~2 miles from downtown Detroit (10 minutes away via the new Q-line light rail system) where the stadiums of all four of Detroit’s major sport teams are located.