C. Jerry Lin, Ph.D., P.E.JerryLin

Professor, Environmental Engineering
Director, Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality
Associate Provost for Research



Dr. C. Jerry Lin is the Director of Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lamar University. His work focuses on the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment, water & wastewater engineering and air quality assessment. Dr. Lin served as a member in the USEPA Science Advisory Board, and was one of the lead modelers of the United Nations' Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollutants. He has assisted in the technical analysis for national policy making on mercury emission reduction including Clean Air Mercury Rules, Occupational Mercury Exposure Assessment and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants. He also works extensively with industrial partners in a number of waste-to-energy, biological wastewater treatment and emission control projects. Dr. Lin teaches water chemistry, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution science and engineering statistics. He is also an active proponent of STEM education through his research activities and educational outreach.

Keywords: Atmospheric Processes; Air Quality Management; Fate and Transport of Pollutants; Modeling and Simulation; Water Reuse; Water Treatment Processes; Waste-to-Energy Conversion.

Tracy J. Benson, Ph.D.Tracy Benson

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering


Dr. Tracy Benson leads the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Laboratory at Lamar University. His work focuses on the minimization (or elimination) of industrial wastes, notably carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and unwanted byproducts. Using the objectives of Green Chemistry, he synthesizes novel homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts, performs catalyst characterizations and catalyst testing. His analytical expertise includes GC & LC-Mass Spectrometry, FTIR & Raman spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction, and temperature programmed desorption/oxidation/reaction. In addition to laboratory testing, Dr. Benson also performs process modeling using ASPEN simulation software to minimize the energy required for chemical transformations, to minimize unwanted product streams, and to minimize process wastewater effluents.

Dr. Benson leads the College of Engineering’s Lamar Intro to Engineering (LITE) summer camp that brings the concepts of STEM to fifty 7th and 8th graders during a weeklong day camp. Students learn about each type of the engineering disciplines, learn about teamwork and communication, and participate in a team design competition.

Keywords: Air Quality Management, Climate Change, Industrial Waste Management, Process Optimization, Renewable Energy, Waste Minimization, Waste-to-Energy Conversion.


Liv Haselbach , Ph.D., P.E.Liv Haselbach, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering



Dr. Haselbach is the Chair of Lamar University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her work focuses on sustainable construction, low impact development, soil contaminant modeling/decision support systems; alternative fueling infrastructure Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), air pollution and environmental issues in the concrete industry (pervious concrete, carbon absorption, urban heat island impacts). Dr. Haselbach serves on many national and international committees, including ASTM E60 (Sustainability), ACI 130 (Sustainability), ACSE LID (Low Impact Development), and ISO TC71/8 Environmental Management of Concrete and Concrete Structures.  Dr. Haselbach is extensively published and authored the book "The Engineering Guide to LEED-New Construction". 

Keywords: Sustainable construction, Life Cycle Assessment, Air Pollution, Pervious Concrete, Soil Contaminant Modeling. 

Clayton Jeffryes, Ph.D., P.E.jeffryes2020photo


Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering




Dr. Clayton Jeffryes is a member of the Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, and a professor in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. His work focuses on the production of nanostructured materials, bioactive molecules and high-energy compounds from cell suspension and tissue cultures. Included in this work is the development of scalable, engineered systems to bridge the gap between the microscale and production scale biosynthesis of nanomaterials. Dr. Jeffryes is an internationally experienced researcher who held a research fellowship with the Belgian National Science Foundation from 2012-2015 and had a leadership role on projects funded by the NSF, Air Force Research Laboratory, European Union, Belgian National Science Foundation and the Walloon Region. He also interest and has excelled at interdisciplinary research and has published a breadth of research topics such as materials characterization, biomimetics, alternative energy, bioprocess and biochemical engineering and numerical modeling. Dr. Jeffryes teaches transport phenomena and is interested in the application of these principles to analyze biological systems and biomedical technologies.

Keywords: Industrial Waste Management, Modeling and Simulation, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Water Reuse, Water Treatment Processes, Waste-to-Energy Conversion.

Dr. Jeffryes' Google Scholar Profile


R. Gavin Jones, MS, REPGavin

Associate Director for Programs, Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality



Mr. Gavin Jones is the Associate Director for Programs with the Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality at Lamar University. His research focuses on biofilm formation and methods to enhance biological activity in treating municipal and industrial waste streams. He has served as the PI for contracts and grants with the U.S. Air Force and Army Corps of Engineers; and has extensive experience in managing environmental research institutes. Additionally, he has conducted research in the synthesis of butanol from cellulosic material and treating water produced from hydraulic fracking operations. His work has resulted in six patents and he has gained experience in the commercialization of environmental technologies. He has also provided wastewater consultation services throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean; and is a Registered Environmental Professional (REP) with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP).

Keywords: Biofilm, Municipal and Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Biofuel Production, Produced Water Treatment.

Xianchang Li, Ph.D.Xianchang

Associate Professor, Thermal/Fluids Science


Dr. Li received his Ph.D. from Clemson University in 1999 and now serves as an associate professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Lamar University. He is interested in research related to renewable and conventional energy system analysis, heat transfer enhancement, combustion optimization and emission reduction, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He initiated studies of film cooling with mist injection and film cooling with backward injection. Beyond his research experience in fundamentals of thermal-fluid science, he has worked with different power and chemical plants to improve their energy efficiency. Besides modeling and simulation, Dr. Li’s research also covers various experimental studies by using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Phase Doppler Particle analyzer (PDPA), Infrared (IR) images, and spectrum analyzer. In addition, he has applied his expertise in environmental science, for example, bubble flow in water and chamber design for mercury measurement. His recent projects include gas turbine/steam turbine modeling, and numerical simulation of industrial flare species.

Keywords: Combustion and Emission Control, Conventional and Renewable Energy System, Modeling and Simulation, System Analysis, Transport of Pollutants, Waste-to-Energy Conversion.

Helen H. Lou, Ph.D.Helen

Professor, Chemical Engineering
Director, Sustainable Technology Laboratory


Dr. Helen H. Lou is the Director of Sustainable Technology Laboratory, and a professor in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. Her work focuses on sustainable engineering, i.e., the development of technologies for reducing the environmental impacts and improving the efficiency and profitability of industrial activities. She has been applying process modeling, design, simulation, control and optimization methods in pollution prevention, air pollution control, solid waste treatment, water recycling and heat integration. Dr. Lou has extensive leadership experience with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Currently, she is a Director of AIChE Fuel and Petrochemicals Division as well as a Representative of East Asia in AIChE International Committee. She served has served as Chair for AIChE in the Process Development Division, Manufacturing Area (2003 – 2005); and the Sustainable Engineering Forum (2010 – 2011). In addition to her service in AIChE, Dr. Lou is a Board Member of the Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (2009 – 2015). She is also an editorial member of the Journal of Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy. Dr. Lou teaches Sustainability, Advanced Process Design, Advanced Process Analysis classes.

Keywords: Sustainability, Air Pollution Control (Low NOx combustion, VOCs Abatement), Clean Combustion, Modeling and Simulation, System Analysis, Water Recycle and Reuse, Waste Minimization, Produced Water Treatment.

Carrie Martin, MT(ASCP)Carrie

Laboratory Technician
College of Engineering, Materials Instrumentation Center
(409) 880-7873


Carrie Martin is the Instrumental Laboratory Technician for the College of Engineering. She graduated from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in 1994 and Houston Methodist Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program. She has 15 years of experience in a medical laboratory as well as the refining industry. In the past 15 years, she has been working on the characterization of chemicals, products and wastewater in the refining industry. 

Yeraldi Maldonado, B.S.

Laboratory Technician,CAWAQyeraldi
College of Engineering,


Yeraldi Maldonado, is a lab technician in Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality. She completed her Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lamar University in 2020. During her time at Lamar she excelled in design projects, she worked as a teaching assistant and peer mentor and was responsible for training students in laboratory protocol and safety. 

 Qin Qian, Ph.D.

Qin Qian

Associate Professor, Water Resource Engineering



Dr. Qin Qian is a PI for the Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, and an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lamar University. Her work focuses on the fate and transport of pollutants in natural water bodies, water resource monitoring and management, and advanced design applications in water resource engineering. Dr. Qian served as a Director of Overseas Chinese Environmental Engineers and Scientists Association (OCEESA), a Committee Member of ASCE Groundwater Hydrology Committee, a Technical Assistant of the Technical Advisory Panel for the Research Management Committee 5 (RMC-5) of the Texas Department of Transportation and a Board Member for the Gulf Coast Recovery and Protection District. She has also worked with local agencies on Water Resource Monitoring and Management issues to allow better ecological restoration design and preservation of aquatic ecosystems. Dr. Qian teaches hydraulics, fluid mechanics, engineering hydrology, hydraulic engineering, and models of hydrological system. She is also an active proponent of STEM education through her research activities and educational outreaches.

Keywords: Fate and Transport of Pollutants, Modeling and Simulation, Waterways, Water Conservation, Water Resources Management, Environmental Hydrodynamics.

Thinesh Selvaratnam, Ph.D.     

Assisstant Professor                                        thinesh-resize.jpg
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Dr. Thinesh Selvaratnam is a member of the Center for Advances in Water and Air Quality, and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lamar University. Dr. Thinesh’s research activities are focused on the development of an algal-based bioremediation systems to treat municipal and industrial wastewaters. Currently, Dr. Thinesh is focused on the potential of using thermophilic mixotrophic algae, Galdieria sulphuraria to efficiently perform on-site treatment of leachate. In addition, Dr. Thinesh is focused on developing tools and pedological approaches to increase the undergraduate students’ retention in Civil Engineering Department. He is also active in improving undergraduate research opportunities in Environmental engineering and STEM based K-12 outreach activities.


Keywords: Energy efficient water and wastewater treatment, Resource recovery, Algal biotechnology, Food-Energy-Water Nexus, Sustainability, Engineering Education. 

Dr. Selvaratnam's Google Scholar Profile

 Walter WheelerWalter

Laboratory Technician
College of Engineering



Walter Wheeler is a Laboratory Technician for the College of Engineering. He graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology in 1986 and Lamar institute of Technology with an Associates Degree in Computer Aided Design in 1999.Walter has worked the last 17 years in the industrial firefighting equipment field using design disciplines in Piping, Mechanical, Structural, and electrical/electronics.

Xing Wu, Ph.D.

Xing Wu

Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering



Dr. Xing Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Lamar University. His research looks at stochastic transportation system modeling and analysis, risk analysis and energy analysis. He has published more than 20 journal articles in Transportation Research Part A, Transportation Research Part B, Transportation Research Part C, Energy Policy, etc.; receiving nearly 500 citations. He now serves as the young member for one standing National Transportation Research Board Committees: Marine Safety and Human Factors (AW040), and he is the member of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences). He is the reviewer of a series of highly ranked academic journals in Transportation Engineering. Dr. Wu teaches transportation engineering, risk analysis, engineering probabilities and statistics, engineering project management.

Keywords: Transportation Network Modeling, Transportation Energy, Risk Analysis, Waterway Transportation.


Qiang Xu, Ph.D.Qiang Xu

Professor, Chemical Engineering


Dr. Qiang Xu is a Professor in the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. His main research areas include process synthesis, production scheduling, dynamic simulation, and optimization with particular applications on industrial flare minimization, energy savings, process safety and air quality analysis. He has published 97 peer-reviewed papers and given over 190 invited talks and international conference presentations. He is the recipient of Lamar University Merit Award in 2010, University Scholar in 2012, and Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow in 2015. He is currently the area chair of Process Research and Innovation of AIChE Process Development Division. He has generated 7 Ph.D. dissertations and 7 M.S. theses associated with six best paper awards from AIChE, and three best paper competition awards from Chinese American Petroleum Association.

Keywords: Modeling and Simulation, Process Optimization, Process Safety, Soft Sensor Development, Operational Research, Industrial Sustainability, Pollution Prevention, Air Pollution Control, Industrial Waste Management.