Robert Pitt's Research Team

Research Team   
Current Researchers

Alex Maestre

Alex is currently a post doctoral researcher here at the University of Alabama. He is conducting research about nutrient discharges in large rivers using regression methods, describing the characteristics of rain deposition constituents in urban environments, and evaluating the impact of evapotranspiration in floodplain areas.

He received his doctorate degree in Environmental Engineering and a Master degree in Applied Statistics in May 2005 at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Alex completed his Master's degree in Computer Science at the University of West Florida in 2013.

His dissertation under Dr. Robert Pitt covered research on stormwater constituents using the NPDES phase I stormwater permits. As a graduate student, he assisted in several projects including the development of the updated Inappropriate Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) manual. Dr. Maestre received a Master's degree in water resources at the University of Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) under Dr. Mario Diaz-Granados. His master's research was focused on hydrologic balances in lakes and wetland systems using GIS.
He worked at Jefferson County - Stormwater Division, Geosyntec Consultants, and the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation (CEDB) at the University of West Florida. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama and Florida

Email : amaestre@eng.ua.edu


For more about Alex’s current projects, please visit the UA National Flood Interoperability Experiment webpage at:
UA NFIE Website

 

Brad Wilson

Brad is a Ph.D. student in Water Resources Engineering at University of Alabama in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Brad has previous degrees in Biology and Chemical Engineering, as well as Masters degrees in Geography and Civil Engineering.

His research aims to elucidate the natural processes operating in source areas that contribute to fecal-indicator bacteria in stormwater-runoff. A better understanding of the background, of other than sewage origin, sources of bacteria in runoff would provide perspective concerning risks associated with biological water quality.


Vijay Kumar Eppakayala

Vijay is a Ph.D. student in Water Resources Engineering at University of Alabama in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. He received his Master's degree in Environmental Engineering from The University of Alabama in 2008. His main area of research is industrial stormwater treatment.


 

Past Graduated Students

Leila Talebi

Currently Leila is working as a Civil Engineer for Tetra Tech Inc. Leila graduated with her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 2014. Her main areas of focus are stormwater treatment, monitoring, and stormwater effects.


Yezhao Cai

Yezhao Cai graduated with his Master's degree in Environmental Engineering in 2013 at The University of Alabama. Prior to the study in U.S., he received his Bachelor Degree in Environmental Engineering from Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou, China, in 2010.

Under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Robert Pitt, Cai worked on the research of field performance verification test of Full-Scale Up-Flo Filter, which is a proprietary advanced stormwater runoff treatment device of Hydro International, Portland, Maine. As a graduate research assistant, Cai assisted on the research of evaluating the efficacy of integrated, "green" infrastructure-based solutions to wet-weather flow pollution problems in Kansas City, Missouri, which is funded by U.S. EPA and conducted by Dr. Deborah O'Bannon at The University of Missouri -Kansas City (UMKC). Cai was involved in solids analyses of samples from UMKC, and associated data compiling.

Redahegn Sileshi

Redahegn graduated with his Ph.D. in 2013 at The University of Alabama. He worked on Enhanced Treatment of Organic Toxicants by Optimizing the Hydraulic Characteristics of Biofiltration Media under the supervision of Dr. Pitt.

He received a Master's Degree in Applied Physics from Alabama A&M University, Normal AL, USA, in 2008 Specialization in Optics/laser. His thesis title was" Dye-Assisted Optical Lithography of Polymers from Aqueous-Phase". He obtained his Bachelor Degree in Hydraulic Engineering from Arbaminch University, Ethiopia, in 2005.

Prior to study in US Redahegn worked as a Site as well as Office Engineer at Kesem Kebena Dam & Irrigation Project under Ethiopian Water Works Construction Enterprise.


Olga Ogburn

Olga is originally from Moscow, Russia where she received her Master's degree in Thermal Power Engineering. She worked as an engineer at thermal power facilities. Dr. Olga was graduated in 2013. Her main area of research was pollutant releases from stormwater drainage systems and storage tanks materials.


Kenya Goodson

Kenya is from Tuscaloosa, AL. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Stillman College and obtained a Master of Science in Environmental Management from Samford University in Birmingham. Kenya worked for four years for the Alabama Department of Public Health as a Public Health Environmentalist in Tuscaloosa. Dr. Goodson was graduated in 2013. Her work under Dr. Robert Pitt was on a US EPA Emerging Contaminants Project. Her research involved the effects of stormwater on the treatability of emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment processes.


Ryan Bean

Ryan graduated with his Master's degree in Environmental Engineering in 2012 at The University of Alabama. His main area of research was evapotranspiration.


Noboru Togawa

Noboru received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama, 2006. Prior to study in the U.S., Noboru worked for the construction and design of hydraulic facilities which is including hydraulic gates for dams and penstocks, trash-removers, and control bridges as a hydraulic engineer. These facilities are used for water discharge, water intake, flood control, and irrigation. Noboru designed more than 100 hydraulic facilities in Japan and contributed the construction project in Singapore and Indonesia.

Dr. Noboru was graduated in 2011. He worked under Dr. Pitt's supervision for field verification for the full scale Up-FloTM Filter produced by Hydro International. This filter was designed to treat stormwater

Noboru Togawa's Resume (Sep,2009)

 

Celina Bochis

Celina is originally from Cluj-Napoca, Romania where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a minor in Hydrology (cum laude). She then attended The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and received a second Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (cum laude) and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering.

Dr. Celina was graduated in 2010. Her main area of research included the study of urban watersheds’ land covers (especially the magnitude of impervious surfaces) and the associated variability in stormwater characteristics. Also, she also worked as graduate student program coordinator for National Science Foundation’s Engineering Math Advancement Program with the College of Engineering combining research, administrative, and organizational duties.


For more about Celina’s projects and working experience, please visit her personal webpage at:
http://www.bama.ua.edu/~cbochis/

 

Laith S. Al-Faqih

Laith finished his MS in Environmental Engineering in the spring of 2004 at The University of Alabama. His thesis title was "Investigation of a new peat based media for the removal of heavy metals from wastewater".

Dr. Al-Faqih was graduated in 2008. His main area of research was an exciting multi-disciplinary dissertation project that combines engineering and management. The project was building a decision analysis system for sustainable water and drainage systems. This project helps in choosing suitable and sustainable water and drainage systems for an area according to different facets and measures that need to be taken into consideration.

 

Humberto Avila

Humberto is currently working as a professor of Water Resources Engineering at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. He received a Master's Degree in Water Resources Engineering from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, in 2003, and a Specialization's Degree in River and Coastal Engineering from the Universidad del Norte, Colombia, in 2000. He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the Universidad del Norte, Colombia, in 2000. Dr. Avila was graduated in 2008. His main area of research was a Computational Fluid Dynamics and Physical Modeling of Hydrodynamic Stormwater Devices.

 

Jejal Reddy Bathi

Jejal is originally from Hyderabad, India where he received his bachelor degree in Chemical Technology. He then attended the National University of Singapore in Singapore where he received a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. He had worked for ITC Paper Boards Private Limited as process lab in charge and than for DuPont Singapore Private Limited in their Lycra production. Dr. Bathi was graduated in 2008. His main area of research was the study of association of organic cyclic compounds with stormwater particulates and creek sediments. .

 

Stephen Hunter Hyche

Hunter is originally from Centre, Al. Hunter completed his BS degree in Civil Engineering in May ’05 from the University of Alabama. He has compled his MS in Environmental Engineering with a concentration in water resources in May ‘07. He worked with Dr. Pitt on an EPA funded project in conjunction with the Center for Watershed Protection focusing on the expansion of the National Stormwater Quality Database.

 

 

Renee E. Morquecho

Renee currently supervises the Engineering Department for the Indian Wells Valley Water District in Ridgecrest, California. Dr. Morquecho received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama in August 2005. Her dissertation under Dr. Robert Pitt involved sequential extraction and analysis of the filterable portion of stormwater heavy metals using ion exchange and Anodic Stripping Voltammetry. In addition, Renee was involved with gathering data for the National Stormwater Quality Database and updating the Inappropriate Discharge, Detection and Elimination manual. Dr. Morquecho received her Bachelor's in Biology from the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA) and Master of Science degrees in Public Health (1996) and in Civil Engineering (2001) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

 

Uday Khambhammettu

Uday Khambhammettu, originally from Hyderabad, India has obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) from Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Mysore, India in the year 2002. In year 2003 he joined Dr. Robert Pitt's research group as a graduate research assistant. Initially he worked as a team member of the teams evaluating inappropriate discharges and grass swales performance. He then took up the project "Field verification of upflow filtration for treating stormwater" which is an US EPA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II project under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Robert Pitt. While pursuing this project he has been an intern with US Infrastructure Inc, Birmingham, AL and Hydro International, Portland, Maine. After successfully completing the project and publishing various papers on the results of Upflow filtration performance, he graduated in year 2006 with Master of Science in Engineering ( M.S.E.) degree. Presently he is working as design engineer for Metcalf & Eddy|AECOM in their San Diego, CA office. In his spare time Uday likes to hike, read, listen to music, photograph and star gaze. He also enjoys traveling and dreams of touring the whole world atleast once in his life time

Email : Uday.Khambhammettu@m-e.aecom.com

Summandeep Shergill

Sumandeep Singh Shergill graduated with Master's degree in Environmental Engineering in 2004. As a graduate student his main research work was on characterization of sources of bacteria in stormwater. Shergill is basically from India where he received his bachelors in Civil Engineering from RECJ.

Veerabhadra Rao Karri

Veerabhadra graduated with Master of Science in Environmental Engineeirng in 2003. He is currently working as Stormwater Engineer with the Public Works Department of the City of Port Orange,Florida. As a part of his job, Veerabhadra deals with review of plans and proposals submitted to the City in conjunction with permit applications to the City and thereby assessing their impact on the existing stormwater conveyance system of the City. Monitoring the City's Stormwater Master Plan and administering the stormwater regulatory programs for the City such as the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) of the EPA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Community Rating System (CRS) of the FEMA. Identifying solutions to drainage and flooding problems and coordinating these solutions with Public Works Personnel. Designing Infrastructure Projects for the Public Works Department as a part of the Capital Improvement Program.

 

Soumya Chaturvedula

Soumya graduated with Masters of Science in environmental Engineering in 2004. Currently Soumya working as an Environmental Engineer for Burnside Consulting, Hyderabad, India. As a part of her job, she delt with the projects related to the design of solidwaste landfills, stormwater systems design for real estate projects etc.

 

Yukio Nara

Yukio Nara graduated with Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering. As a graduate research assistant Nara has worked on inappropriate discharges to storm drain structures, involving collection of samples and laboratory analysis, and analyzing the performance of Grass Swales as a stormwater treatment technique. Nara has received his Bachelor degree from University of Alabama in 2002.