Thanh H. (Helen) Nguyen

Associate Professor

CEE Excellence Faculty Fellow

3213 Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory

205 N. Mathews Ave. Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-5965

Helen Nguyen holds a B.S. with Honors in Geology (Ivan Franko National University of L'viv, Ukraine, 1995), an M.S. in Earth and Environmental Science (University of Illinois at Chicago, 2000), an M.S. in Environmental Engineering (Johns Hopkins University, 2004), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering (Johns Hopkins University, 2005).

Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in November 2006 where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in environmental engineering, with an emphasis on physico-chemical processes for water and wastewater treatments.

Dr. Nguyen is a member of the American Chemical Society (Environmental Chemistry Division and Colloid and Surface Chemistry division), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Prior to joining UIUC, Dr. Nguyen was a Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University.  Dr. Nguyen is the recipient of the 2006 AEESP/CH2M Hill Outstanding Dissertation Award and 2010 NSF CAREER award.

Dr Nguyen is a faculty advisor for an Engineers Without Borders team that won: Engineering Open House - 1st Place in the Real World Category; Central State Water Environment Association and Water Environment Federation Student Design Competition - 1st Place; National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Summit Student Poster Competition - 1st Place, EPA P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) phase I and II award , 2010. Dr Nguyen also received the ASCE-EWB Sustainable Development Award for advising an EWB team that develops a sustainable engineering solution that explores innovative ways of effectively capturing and utilizing resources, 2010.


Research Overview: 

Dr. Nguyen’s research goal is to develop conceptual models that aid in assessing the human and ecological risks associated with biological contaminants in subsurface environments and water treatment systems. Specific areas of interest are waterborne pathogen removal for water and wastewater treatment, and fate and transport of antibiotic resistant bacteria in subsurface environment. Dr Nguyen’s group applies sophisticated experimental techniques from the field of molecular biology, microbiology, colloidal/interfacial chemistry, and environmental engineering.