R. D. Cusick

 R. D. Cusick
R. D. Cusick
  • Assistant Professor
(217) 244-6727
3217 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Engineering and Science

Research Areas

For more information


Roland Cusick earned his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Riverside (2005), and holds an M.S. (2010) and Ph.D. (2013) in Environmental Engineering, both from the Pennsylvania State University. Their honors include receiving the W. Wesley Eckenfelder Graduate Research Award from the American Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (2013), the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award (2013), and the Dow Sustainability Student Challenge Award (2012).

Dr. Cusick teaches CEE 443 Environmental Engineering Principles, Chemical and CEE 437, Water Quality Engineering, and CEE 449, Environmental Engineering Lab


  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2013, Advisor: Bruce E. Logan; Title: Nutrient and Heat Recovery from Waste Streams with Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2010
  • B.S. Environmental Engineering, University of California, Riverside, 2005

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013-present

Major Consulting Activities

  • Island Water Technology, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 2014 - present: Consult on R&D of a bioactivity sensor for autonomous wastewater treatment systems
  • Aquapod, Calgary, Ontario, Canada, 2013 - present: Serve on scientific advisory board for advanced treatment septic system development
  • Cambrian Innovation, Cambridge, MA, 2011: State of the art survey of high rate anaerobic digestion systems.
  • Envinity, State College, PA, 2010: Energy and economic assessment of MSW co-digestion and CHP at Williamsport wastewater treatment plant.

Professional Registrations

  • Engineer in Training, California, 2005

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Electrochemical Society
  • Member, Water Environment Federation
  • Member of the International Working Group for Capacitive Deionization & Electrosorption, Fall 2017 - present. This working group is an international collection of Engineers (Chemical, Mechanical, Environmental) and Materials Scientists focused on advancing electrification of water treatment through selective separations and resource recovery. I am currently Co-chair of the organizing committee for the next Capacitive Deionization Workshop, Fall 2019 - May 2021
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors: AEESP is the primary professional society for environmental engineering and I am currently serving on the Demographics Committee Member (2020-present) and MS Thesis Award Committee (2021-2022). These service assignments are stepping stones toward Officer and Board member status in the society.

Service on Department Committees

  • Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability Program Chair (2021 - 2023)
  • Environmental Engineering and Science Admissions and Fellowship Committee (2014 - 2017)
  • Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability Admission and Fellowship Committee (2015 - 2018)
  • Environmental Engineering and Science Governance Committee (2015, 2017, 2021 EES Coordinator election cycles)

Research Interests

  • Process modeling
  • Biological wastewater treatment
  • Microbial electrochemical technologies
  • Resource recovery from wastewater
  • Capacitive deionization
  • Electrochemical pollutant removal
  • Chemical Phosphorus Recovery

Research Statement

Dr. Cusick has research interests in resource recovery from waste streams and the development of novel technologies for sustainable water and wastewater treatment. His primary research areas include electrochemical separations with energy storage materials as well as nutrient and energy recovery from wastewater.

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Engineering and Science

Research Areas

Selected Articles in Journals

Magazine Articles