Environmental Health Engineering

Today, our society faces the risks of environmental pollution, communicable diseases, endocrine disruptors in consumer products, and the potential of aerosolized biological agents.

More than half of humanity’s health problems are dependent, either directly or indirectly, on environmental factors. Today, our society faces the risks of environmental pollution, communicable diseases, endocrine disruptors in consumer products, and the potential of aerosolized biological agents.

The Center for Environmental Health Engineering is working to protect human health and critical ecosystems by detecting, minimizing and ultimately eliminating harmful chemical and biological agents through early detection and engineering interventions. It sits at the link between the environment, human health and security to meet critical real-world needs to promote public safety. The center works on a regional, national and global scale.

The Center for Environmental Health Engineering team is made up of more than 30 scientists, undergraduate and graduate students, research technicians, postdoctoral researchers and staff led by public health engineer and center director Rolf Halden. Together, they are harnessing human exposure assessment technologies and intervention strategies to characterize environmental threats, improve public health, and reduce the human and financial cost of disease of environmental origin.

Among the greatest challenges to human society are access to safe drinking water, clean air, healthy food, and renewable energy sources protecting from adverse climate change.

We conduct use-inspired research to meet these major global challenges. With our work, we seek to avoid or minimize:

  • Environmental pollution,
  • Human exposure to toxic chemicals and
  • Depletion of natural resources including drinking water and fossil fuels.

To meet our objectives, we harness the power of sustainable chemistry, microbiological systems and renewable bioenergy sources.

The center was established in late 2012 with funding from the Piper Charitable Trust’s Health Solutions, ASU’s Security and Defense Systems Initiative (SDSI), the Fulton Schools of Engineering, and ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development.