Timothy J. Strathmann

Professor and Associate Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering

timothy-strathmann Timothy StrathmannProfessor Strathmann’s research group applies modern chemical research tools and techniques to develop more sustainable technologies for environmental and energy applications. The group is currently developing technologies that employ innovative catalytic, hydrothermal, and photochemical processes to treat highly reclacitrant per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), produce bio-renewable energy and chemicals, and recover valuable resources from waste streams.



Labs and Research Centers


  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, 2001
  • MS, Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 1996
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Purdue University, 1995

Other Affiliations

  • Associate Editor, Environmental Science & Technology
  • Board of Directors, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)
  • Collaborative Research Appointment, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO

Research Areas

Current research projects include:

  • Developing innovative technologies to remediate groundwater contaminated by persistent and toxic fluorochemicals (e.g., PFOS, PFOA)
  • Assessing the effectiveness and sustainability of ion exchange treatment processes for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • Valorizing waste streams through integrated biochemical-hydrothermal-catalytic conversion processes that produce liquid fuels, valuable industrial chemicals, and fertilizer
  • Identifying the dominant mechanisms controlling the transformation of organic micropollutants of emerging concern (e.g., pharmaceuticals, flame retardants) in reclaimed wastewater systems

Check out Prof. Strathmann’s Research Group Website for more information.


  • Google Scholar Profile for full list of publications
  • Y. Fang, A. Ellis, Y.J. Choi, T.H. Boyer, C.P. Higgins, C.E. Schaefer, and T.J. Strathmann (2021). Removal of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Using Ion-Exchange and Nonionic Resins. Environmental Sciences & Technology. 55,5011-5011. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c00769
  • S. Hao, Y.J. Choi, B. Wu, C. Higgins, R. Deeb, and T.J. Strathmann. (2021). Hydrothermal alkaline treatment for destruction of per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). Environmental Science & Technology. 55, 3283-3295. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c06906
  • C.J. Liu, T.J. Strathmann, and C. Bellona. (2021). Rejection of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam by High Pressure Membranes. Water Research. 188, 116546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116546
  • R. Tenorio, J. Liu, X. Xiao, A. Maizel, C.P. Higgins, C.E. Schaefer, and T.J. Strathmann. (2020). Destruction of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) with UV-Sulfite Photoreductive Treatment. Environmental Science & Technology. 54, 6957-6967 https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c00961
  • X. Huo, J. Vanneste, T. Cath, and T.J. Strathmann (2020). A Hybrid Catalytic Hydrogenation/Membrane Distillation Process for Nitrogen Resource Recovery from Nitrate-Contaminated Waste Ion Exchange Brine. Water Research. 175, 115688. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.115688
  • Y. Li and T.J. Strathmann. (2019). Kinetics and Mechanism for Hydrothermal Conversion of Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) for Wastewater Valorization. Green Chemistry. 21, 5586-5597. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9GC02507C
  • B. Wu, S. Hao, Y. Choi, C.P. Higgins, R. Deeb, and T.J. Strathmann. (2019). Rapid Destruction and Defluorination of Perfluorooctanesulfonate by Alkaline Hydrothermal Reaction. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 6, 630-636. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00506
  • Y. Li, W.A. Tarpeh, K.L. Nelson, and T.J. Strathmann. (2018). Quantitative Evaluation of an Integrated System for Valorization of Wastewater Algae as bio-oil, Fuel Gas, and Fertilizer Products. Environmental Science & Technology. 52,12717-12727. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b04035.

Awards and Honors

  • Distinguished Service Awards, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), 2019 and 2021
  • Honorary Professorship, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, 2013 – 2017
  • Visiting Professorship, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2011
  • NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, 2008
  • Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), 2010
  • Snoeyink Faculty Scholar, UIUC, 2010