Ph.D. Position in Environmental Engineering

Job Type
Job Institution
Texas A&M University
Job Description

The Chen Lab led by Dr. Wensi Chen is looking for two creative and self-motivated Ph.D. students to join us in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, starting in 2024 Spring or Fall. The Chen Lab focuses on the design, development, and application of advanced functional materials to address global challenges related to water, energy, and health ( The successful candidates will work on cutting-edge research projects in the field of environmental engineering, material science, electrochemistry, and microbiology.

Position 1: Smart hydrogel for virus detection
- Development of smart hydrogels for selective capture and detection of viruses of interest in water samples

Position 2: Electrified treatment technique for water purification and resource recovery
- Electrode fabrication, reactor design, and system optimization for the electrified water treatment system

Candidate Requirement:
1. Must have a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields including but not limited to environmental engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, material science and engineering, etc.
2. A master’s degree in relevant fields is highly desirable but not required
3. Previous research experience with hydrogel materials, electrochemical catalysis, environmental microbiology, and sensor techniques would be favorable
4. Conduct independent research projects as well as team working abilities
5. Excellent scientific writing and communication skills

We would offer:
1. Competitive stipend and benefits (tuition fully covered)
2. Supportive research environment with state-of-art facilities and equipment
3. Multidisciplinary collaboration for convergence research
4. Professional development opportunities, including travel funds for attending conferences and workshops, leadership development, and career guidance

To apply:
Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Wensi Chen (Email: with a subject line as “Ph.D. Application_Your Name”. In addition, please send a single file including:
1. Cover letter that highlights your educational background, research experience and interests, and career goals (1 page only)
2. Curriculum vitae
3. Unofficial transcripts
4. Sample of scientific writing (e.g., first-authored publications, preprints, thesis, course project reports)
5. Contact information for 3 references (including names, affiliations, and emails)

PI Bio:
Dr. Wensi Chen will join Texas A&M University in Jan 2024 as an assistant professor. She is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was awarded Jean-Lou Chameau Research Excellence Award, Best CEE Ph.D. Thesis Award, and Georgia Tech Sigma Xi Best Ph.D. Thesis Award. Prior to that, she received her B.S. in Chemistry at Tsinghua University in China (Outstanding Graduate of Class 2017). Her research has been published in research journals including Environmental Science & Technology, ACS Materials Letters, ACS ES&T Water, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Environmental Science: Nano, etc. She is the recipient of the American Chemical Society Environmental Chemistry Graduate Student Award, Georgia Tech Convergence Innovation Competition First Place, and 2021 ES&T Best Paper Award for her research innovation and accomplishments.

More About Texas A&M University:
1. The College of Engineering at Texas A&M University ( was ranked in the top 10 in the nation for its graduate engineering program based on the latest U.S. News & World Report.
2. Texas A&M University is located in College Station, Texas, which is a peaceful and safe college town. Meanwhile, College Station has convenient access to major cities in Texas (1.5 hour driving to Houston and Austin, and 3 hour driving to Dallas). More about life in College Station can be found at