Transforming Wastewater Infrastructure in the United States

Job Type
Job Rank
Postdoctoral Researcher
Job Institution
University of South Alabama; Texas A&M University
Job Description

Project Description:
This is a large-scale multi-institutional project that seeks to transform the US wastewater infrastructure in rural communities, with initial research efforts focusing on wastewater improvements in the Black Belt region of Alabama. The Black Belt communities suffer from the confluence of rural poverty, a lack of available sewer, and shrink-swell clay soils that preclude the use of affordable onsite wastewater technologies. Therefore, onsite wastewater failures and “straight pipes” (surface discharge of raw sewage from homes) are common.
The project brings together an interdisciplinary team with expertise in water sector management, engineering, public health, law, and policy. Further details about this project are included in this link:…

Position and Duties:
The postdoctoral researcher will be mentored by Dr. Kevin White (University of South Alabama) and Dr. Amal Bakchan (Texas A&M University). The successful candidate will primarily assist in the development of multiple ongoing research publications, with the opportunity to launch new research projects of mutual interest. The ongoing projects are in the broad areas of (1) characterizing the scope and nature of the problem; (2) elucidating the role of technical, social, management, financial, and regulatory barriers and identifying possible solutions; (3) exploring county-wide and regional responsible management entities of decentralized wastewater infrastructure systems for ensuring sustainable O&M services; and (4) developing spatiotemporal approaches for the assessment of wastewater needs in the Alabama Black Belt region.
The successful candidate is also expected to assist in the development of new research project proposals, as well as perform other duties as assigned.

• PhD in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Construction Management, or a related field
• The candidate should have knowledge and skills in one or more of the following topic areas:
o Wastewater management, treatment, reuse, and resource recovery
o Water/wastewater utility operation and management
o Network optimization, statistics, and spatiotemporal data analytics
o Expertise in socio-technical systems
o Be adept in qualitative analysis approaches
• Interest in and ability to learn and work on an interdisciplinary project
• Track record of producing high-quality, peer-reviewed scientific publications
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

The successful candidate will be based at the University of South Alabama.

Application Process:
This position offers competitive salary and benefits, commensurate to selected hire’s experience. To apply, please email Dr. Amal Bakchan ( and put “Postdoc – Alabama Black Belt Wastewater Issues” in the subject line. Applicants should attach the following in a single PDF (1) a cover letter describing your interest in the position and relevant experience (considering the five bulleted topic areas mentioned above), (2) your current CV, (3) contact information of three references, and (4) a PDF of one journal article of what you believe is your best published research. Applications will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled.