Graduate Blog

To submit an item for the graduate blog, email Joan Christian.

December 4, 2017

Do you have an Incomplete from Spring 2017? December 14 is the last day for a faculty member to submit a grade to change an I grade or DFR grade in a non-thesis course from Spring 2017 to prevent an F by rule on your academic record. The F may affect Academic Standing which is calculated at the end of the semester.

December 14 is the deadline to drop a Fall 2017 semester course with a W recorded. To drop a course, you will need to complete a Late Registration / Late Course Change form with the approval of your academic program. A W will be recorded on your academic record for the course.

December 14 is the deadline to withdraw from ALL semester courses. To withdraw from all Fall 2017 semester courses, you will need to complete a Withdrawal/Cancellation form and obtain a signature from your academic program. If you are an international student, you will need to get a signature from International Student Scholar Services. W’s will be recorded on your academic record.

December 14 is the deadline to add a Fall 2017 semester course. You will need to complete a Late Registration / Late Course Change form and obtain the approval of the course instructor and your academic program. If the course is from a department other than your academic program, you will also need to obtain the approval of the enrolling department.

Late Registration / Late Course Change forms and Withdrawal/Cancellation forms need to be submitted to the Graduate College before 5:00 p.m. on Reading Day, Thursday, December 14. 

December 4, 2017

Available PhD Positions: Addressing Emerging Challenges in Environmental Engineering & Chemistry

I am seeking applications from candidates interested in pursuing a PhD in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering (EECE) at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL). Our primary focus is on advancing the state of the science in environmental engineering and chemistry to address emerging challenges relating to agriculture and water quality. Our ultimate goal is to predict contaminant behavior in environmental systems and to optimize strategies to minimize the risk posed by these contaminants to human and ecosystem health.

We currently have openings for PhD students on two projects:

1.     Risk assessment of RNA interference agricultural biotechnology

Major advances in agricultural biotechnology have enabled new strategies to protect crops against pests. For example, some genetically modified crops produce so-called “dsRNA biopesticides” within plant tissue to protect the crop from insect pests via a cellular mechanism called RNA interference. Environmental risk assessment of agricultural biotechnology requires information about the fate of these emerging biopesticides in soils and surface water. In this project, the student researcher will elucidate, for the first time, the major processes contributing to the fate of dsRNA biopesticides in environmental systems. Learn more about this project here and here.

2.     Reducing exposure to toxins from Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs):

Toxins produced by HABs are a major threat to public health in the US and around the world. While different treatments have been applied to immediately minimize exposure to these dangerous toxins, the success of these treatment strategies can be highly variable. We believe that understanding the underlying physicochemical processes that occur during HAB treatment will allow prediction of treatment efficacy and optimization of treatment strategies. In this project, the student researcher will investigate physicochemical processes impacting toxin distribution and degradation during HAB treatment. Read our past studies on algal toxins here and here.

More information about our research can be found at our webpage:

How to apply. The ideal candidate for these positions will have a background in environmental, chemical or biological engineering or a related field (e.g., chemistry and biochemistry, environmental and agricultural sciences). Students should be highly motivated to develop new techniques and approaches to address challenging problems in environmental engineering and chemistry.

Prospective students should contact Dr. Parker ( with a CV and brief statement of interest. More information about the PhD program application processes can be found at The application deadline is January 15, 2018.


December 1, 2017

PhD Final Defense – Xuan Mei
Pore pressure generation and liquefaction analysis using nonlinear, effective stress-based site response analysis
Advisor: Professor Scott M. Olson
Co-Advisor: Professor Y.M.A. Hashash
Date: Tuesday Dec. 5th, 12:30 pm
Location: Newmark 2218


November 30, 2017

The Institute of Transportation Engineers UIUC student chapter will be hosting its final General Meeting of the Fall 2017 semester on Wednesday, December 6th @ 5:30PM in 2312 Yeh Center (NCEL). We will be hosting Dr. Geoffrey Hewings of the Urban Planning and Economics departments on campus for a lecture entitled Transportation Impact Analysis with Special Attention to the Modeling of Unexpected Events (floods, earthquakes). In addition to hearing about this pressing topic, attendees will have the opportunity to run for two open positions on the ITE board for the Spring 2018 semester: Treasurer & Events Chair. This is a perfect opportunity to stay involved with us as we look to plan bigger and better events in the Spring semester. Finally, Free pizza will be served! We hope to see new and familiar faces alike at this final meeting of the semester! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions at

November 29, 2017

The Diffenbaugh Fellowship Fund, established in 1976 by Harry J. Diffenbaugh, supports graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who are or were residents of the State of Missouri.