Jeffrey A. Cunningham
Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Former Students and Advisees

Akers, D Bradlee (Brad).  M.S., University of South Florida (USF), 2014. 

Thesis title: Lead (Pb) contamination of water drawn from pitcher pumps in eastern Madagascar.

Last status update (June 2020): Brad is an Environmental Engineer (GS-13) in the Air Regulatory Management Section of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Region 4, Atlanta). 

Office telephone number: (+1) 404-562-9089.  E-mail:

Allen, Whitney (co-advised by Prof A Ashmawy).  M.S., USF, 2005. 

Whitney’s name is now Whitney A Stevens.

Thesis title: Relationship between plasticity ratio and hydraulic conductivity for bentonite clay during exposure to synthetic landfill leachate.

Last status update (June 2020): Whitney earned her PE license after graduation.  In 2013, she began managing the Tampa office of the engineering firm Ardaman & Associates, where she is now an Assistant Vice President and still serves as the Tampa Branch Manager.


Carr, Benjamin.  B.S. (with honors), USF, 2020. 

Honors Thesis title: Complexation-enhanced rejection of N-nitroso-dimethylamine (NDMA) during membrane treatment.

Last status update (January 2022): Ben is a PhD student in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California (San Diego).  He is working in the laboratory of Dr Nate Slade, studying the impacts of nitrates on the phase state of organic aerosols.

Cone, Margaret.  M.S., USF, 2013. 

Thesis title: Effects of solvent composition and hydrogen pressure on the catalytic conversion of 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene to cyclohexane.

Last status update (July 2021): Margaret spent about 7 years working in the field of air quality, in both West Virginia and Oklahoma.  For some of that time she worked as an Environmental Specialist for Cardinal Engineering (part of the Enviro Clean group) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  She is now working as a research assistant with the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), one of our country’s top research organizations dedicated to solid-waste management.

Fadel, Ziad.  M.S., Texas A&M University (TAMU), 2005. 

Thesis title: Stochastic modeling of transport and degradation of reactive solutes in heterogeneous aquifers.

Last status update (June 2020): Ziad has worked in structural engineering, construction development, and project management in Lebanon and Qatar.  Currently he is a Project Manager for IMAR in Beirut, Lebanon.

Goldman, Josh (co-advised by Prof L Donald Duke).  M.S., USF, 2007. 

Thesis title: Relationship between biofilm removal and membrane performance using Dunedin reverse osmosis water treatment plant as a case study.

After graduating from USF, Josh completed his PhD at the University of New Mexico under the guidance of Prof Kerry Howe.  He also earned his PE license.

Last status update (June 2020): Josh worked for several years for CDM Smith in the Denver area, then joined the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District as a staff engineer.  (Josh described his job to me and it sounds really fun!)

Hawasli, Hania.  M.S., USF, 2021.

      Thesis title: Effects of nitrate on arsenic mobilization during aquifer storage and recovery.

      Last status update (December 2021): Hania is working as an Engineer Intern for Hillsborough County Public Works.  She works with the transportation engineering group.

Kalivoda, Mark.  M.S., USF, 2017. 

Thesis title: Assessment and modeling of three decentralized resource recovery systems in the cayes of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Last status update (June 2020): Mark passed the PE exam in 2018.  He worked for a couple years for GSE Engineering and Consulting Inc., then moved to Intertek-PSI.  Mark is based in their Miami office but is currently living in Peru (!) and working remotely.

Kassouf, Helene.  M.S., 2016; Ph.D., 2021. 

Dissertation title: Efficient management of nitrogen and phosphorus at centralized water reclamation facilities.

Thesis title: Formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) as disinfection by-products (DBPs) when treated municipal wastewater is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite.

Last status update (December 2021): Helene has just started a full-time job as a Wastewater Process Specialist with Black & Veatch.  She is semi-based in the Tampa office but works with a nationwide group within B&V.


Kayabas, Murat.  M.S., USF, 2021. 

Thesis title: Building and characterizing a lab-scaled aquifer storage and recovery system.

Last status update (Sept 2021): Murat is working as a hydrogeologist in his native country of Turkey.  Murat works in the Monitoring and Water Information System unit within the General Directorate of Water Management.

Kim, Won-Seok.  Ph.D., USF,  2011. 

Dissertation title: Biodegradation of bisphenol-A and 17β-estradiol in soil mesocosms under alternating aerobic/anoxic/anaerobic conditions.

Last status update (June 2020): Won-Seok is a Research Professor in the Nuclear Environmental Laboratory (NEL) at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Korea.  He works on investigating the fate, transport, and remediation of nuclear materials in the environment for the Division of Advanced Nuclear Engineering (DANE) at POSTECH.  He works closely with Professor Wooyong Um.


Kumar, Ram (co-advised by Prof S Campbell).  Ph.D., USF, 2019. 

Dissertation title: Effects of reservoir conditions and trace co-contaminant gases on geological carbon sequestration.

Last status update (June 2021): Ram is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Energy Geosciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Lin, Alex (co-advised by Prof S Ergas).  M.S., USF, 2012. 

Thesis title: Precipitation of phosphate minerals from effluent of anaerobically digested swine manure.

Last status update (May 2019): Alex is a staff scientist for Geological Resources Inc. in Greenboro, South Carolina.

Lobos, Aldo (co-advised by Prof VJ Harwood).  M.S., USF, 2017. 

Thesis title: Bioleaching potential of filamentous fungi to mobilize lithium and cobalt from spent rechargeable Li-ion batteries.

Last status update (June 2020): Aldo is pursuing his PhD at USF in Integrative Biology under the supervision of Valerie (Jody) Harwood.

Mendoza, Itza.  Ph.D., TAMU, 2007. 

Dissertation title: Effects of pore-scale velocity and pore-scale physical processes on contaminant biodegradation during transport in groundwater: Modeling and experiments.

Last status update (June 2020): Itza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M University.


Morrison, Erin.  M.S., USF, 2017. 

Thesis title: Can we re-use “single-use” solid phase extraction cartridges?

Last status update (June 2020): Erin works for Jacobs in their Tampa office.  For the past year-and-a-half or so, she has been working on power projects, Smart Grid projects, and solar power design.


Okwen, Roland.  Ph.D., USF, 2009. 

Dissertation title: Enhanced CO2 storage in confined geologic formations.

Last status update (June 2020): Roland is a Reservoir Engineer for the Illinois Prairie Research Institute and the Illinois State Geological Survey, based in Champaign, Illinois.

Orner, Kevin (co-advised by Prof JR Mihelcic).  Ph.D., USF, 2019. 

Dissertation title: Removal and recovery of nutrients from wastewater in urban and rural contexts.

Last status update (July 2021): Kevin is about to begin a faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University.

Osborn, Claire.  M.S., USF, 2011. 

Claire’s name is now Claire Stapley.

Thesis title: Catalytic hydrodehalogenation and hydrogenation of halogenated aromatic organic contaminants for application to soil remediation.

Last status update (July 2021): Claire previously worked as an engineer for Geosyntec Consultants and as a Project Manager for Gannett Fleming.  In 2019, Claire moved to the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD or “Swiftmud”), but she will soon be making another move to the Department of Environmental Quality for the state of North Carolina.

Panczer, Robert.  M.S., USF, 2014. 

Thesis title: Soil remediation using solvent extraction with hydrodehalogenation and hydrogenation in a semicontinuous system.

Last status update (June 2020): Bobby worked as a remediation engineer for AKRF, but then he moved into the computing and information technology side of things, and in 2020 he started a new job with a small company called Google.

Shapiro, Deanna.  B.S. (with honors), USF, 2011. 

De’s name is now Deanna Hamilton.

Honors Thesis title: Removal of phosphate from wastewater during vertical, down-flow, sand filtration.

Last status update (June 2021): De worked for about 7 years for MWH (now part of Stantec), in both Ohio and Florida offices, but a few years ago she moved to Black & Veatch.  She is in the Tampa office at Black & Veatch.

Sutton, John (co-advised by Prof S Ergas).  M.S., USF, 2019. 

Thesis title: Chemolithotrophic denitrification of nitrate-contaminated groundwater using sulfur-bearing minerals.

Last status update (March 2020): John is a stormwater engineer at Kisinger Campo & Associates.  He passed the FE exam in early 2020.

Thomas, Mark.  M.S., USF, 2010. 

Thesis title: Geochemical modeling of CO2 sequestration in dolomitic limestone aquifers.

I lost touch with Mark shortly after his graduation and wedding.  I would love to hear what he is doing these days!  Mark, if you see this, please get back in touch with me!

Ticknor, Jonathan.  M.S., USF, 2012. 

Thesis title: Analysis and remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons in environmental media.

Last status update (June 2020): Jonathan sold his cyber-security start-up company to Cybraics in 2016.  After a few years as Chief Data Scientist for Cybraics, he moved in 2019 to become Chief Data Scientist for ThunderCat Technology.

Wee, Hun-Young.  Ph.D., TAMU, 2007. 

Dissertation title: Remedial extraction and catalytic hydrodehalogenation for treatment of soils contaminated by halogenated hydrophobic organic compounds.

Last status update (June 2020): After many years with Doosan Hydro Technology (now SafBon Water Technology), Hun-young moved to LG Electronics.  He spent about two years in their Seoul (Korea) office, and now he is managing the EESH (Energy, Environment, Safety, and Health) team at an LG facility in Huntsville, AL, that manufactures solar panels for residential and commercial use.

Wolf, Hillary.  B.S. (with honors), USF, 2010. 

Honors Thesis title: Pharmaceuticals in the environment:  Possible strategies to prevent pharmaceuticals from entering waterways in the United States.

Last status update (June 2020): Hillary spent about 7 years with the Office of Environmental HealthFlorida Department of Health in Sarasota County (also called the Sarasota County Health Department).  About a year ago, she moved to Hillsborough County (FL) Public Schools, where she is a Grant Coordinator.

Zahid, Fizza.  Ph.D., USF, 2021. 

Dissertation title: Impact of grain morphology on the temporal evolution of interfacial area during multi-phase flow in porous media.