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Environmental Chemistry and Technology

Administrative Unit:Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program
College/School: College of Engineering
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Marc Anderson (chair) (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Will Bleam (Soil Science), Matthew Ginder-Vogel (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Greg Harrington (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Phil Helmke (Soil Science), James Hurley (Civil and Environmental Engineering), KG Karthikeyan (Biological Systems Engineering), Katherine McMahon (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Dan Noguera (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Joel Pedersen (Molecular and Environmental Toxicology/Soil Science), Christina Remucal (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Eric Roden (Geoscience), Thatcher Root (Chemical and Biological Engineering), James Schauer (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Anita Thompson (Biological Systems Engineering)


The program has been organized to offer advanced instruction and research training in environmental chemistry and environmental technology leading to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy. A doctoral minor in environmental chemistry and technology is also offered. The program trains candidates for careers in teaching, research, resource management, environmental consulting, and private sector/industrial positions. Areas of work include the development of advanced technologies and materials for air and water purification and for the saving and storage of energies, alternative energy technologies, water and air pollution control, soil and sediment remediation, environmental technology, chemical limnology, and groundwater chemistry.

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are designed for students who have a strong background in chemistry and who desire graduate training in applying chemistry to environmental systems. Individual programs are tailored to meet the candidate's interests through selection of a specialization and elective courses. Areas of specialization include aquatic chemistry, air pollution chemistry, terrestrial chemistry, and chemical- and bio-technology development.

The Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program faculty is composed of an interdepartmental committee appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. Several committee members who have appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are located in the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory. Other members are located in their respective departments.

The environmental chemistry and technology area occupies over 10,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory. Facilities include offices, conference room, classrooms, computer facilities, and over 8,000 square feet devoted to research. The research areas, including trace element and mercury clean laboratories, are designed for research in aquatic chemistry, air pollution chemistry, and environmental technology. Shop facilities (electronics/mechanical) allow fabrication of specialized equipment tailored to the particular field and laboratory research needs. Other specialized facilities include areas for investigations of air pollution chemistry, ceramic membrane technologies, hazardous material remediation, and development of energy storage devices.

In addition to the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory, students also have access to numerous facilities on the UW–Madison campus, including laboratories in the departments of Soil Science, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science Program, Chemistry, Geoscience, Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Center for Limnology, and the State Laboratory of Hygiene.

Financial Aid 

Students accepted into the program can expect to be fully funded through fellowships or assistantships on research projects. Admission decisions are based on the student's qualifications and research interests, the availability of funding, and the focus of funded research projects. Funding includes a waiver of tuition (excluding segregated fees), health benefits (including family coverage), and a yearly stipend.


Students seeking admission should have a background in the fundamental areas of general, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry. In addition, students should have some background in applied sciences which can be fulfilled with a minimum of 6 credits in natural sciences such as botany, zoology, bacteriology, earth science, material science, biochemistry, or engineering. Students who have not met these requirements must do so prior to the completion of the master's degree. Students must submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.

For more information: Admissions, Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program, 680 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706; 608-890-2075; mcpossin@wisc.edu; www.engr.wisc.edu/ect/.