Our team has a goal of working to serve the water,
sanitation and hygiene needs of marginalized people

Our Vision

Our team’s vision is a future of sanitation, water, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure innovation technologies and other strategies developed with the input of underserved communities to support their well-being and sustainable development.

Our Goal

Our goal is to build a sustainable and scalable innovation ecosystem comprising our research teams and the broader stakeholder communities that will include small and large businesses in both WaSH and adjacent industries, the public and regulatory bodies, and the socially disadvantaged user communities.

Our team will innovate sanitation and water resilience infrastructure (SWI) through deep collaboration across disciplines and through active partnership and engagement with underserved communities, policy makers, and the industry. We will develop a virtual testbed and leading-edge technologies, models, and engineering-based interventions that will address drinking water, sanitation, stormwater and resilience to water events.

Making A Difference

In just ten years, our team would have significant outcomes that would impact the water and sanitation “quality of life” of underserved communities, by:

  1. Advancing fundamental knowledge in basic science and engineering underpinning innovative decentralized water and sanitation technologies
  2. Developing and testing infrastructure for the partner communities who represent various constraints, thereby demonstrating real-world solutions
  3. Developing a novel virtual testbed that will allow communities and stakeholders to input their specific data and constraints
  4. Pushing forward a new type of environmental engineering- one that is responsive to those with the most need, thereby decreasing current inequities in access and benefits from technological advancement, and contributing to a more equitable, fair, and sustainable society

    Propelling the development of a 21st century sanitation and water infrastructure for underserved communities.

Technologies developed at this center will be designed using a OneWASH approach, with systems that are decentralized but interconnected, and emphasize the value of all different types of water. OneWASH will innovate sanitation and water infrastructure (SWI) through deep collaboration across disciplines, active partnerships and engagement with underserved communities, policy makers, and industry. As a result, the SWI will be designed, implemented, and maintained equitably to serve the needs of partner underserved communities with distinct characteristics and constraints to achieve desired system sustainability properties such as efficiency, flexibility, and resiliency. Our team includes engineers, public health scientists, and social scientists who will work with underserved communities in the United States and globally.

OneWASH aims to embed a culture of inclusion within our education program as well as foster a sense of belonging to promote social integration of participants. Our program is transformative, as it will catalyze the re-thinking of engineering education by defining the beneficiaries of engineering advances, empowering underrepresented K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students to address problems affecting the disadvantaged, and emphasize community engagement and systems and long-term thinking. OneWASH is also translational as our community-grounded research will help train engineers on sustainability practices, and we support the NSF's strategic focus on ensuring the US STEM workforce is diverse and has the capability to collaborate across cultural and global backgrounds.






Relevant Field(s) of Expertise

Francis de los Reyes III, Lead PI, Director


Civil, Const., Environ. Engrg.

Water/Waste Systems and Micro., Global Sanitation

James R. Mihelcic, PI, Deputy Director


Civil and Environ. Engrg.

Commun. Engaged Design, Sustainability, Resource Recovery

Alesia C. Ferguson, PI


Built Env. Health and Safety

Expos. Assessment, Env. Health, Comm. Engagement

Matthew Verbyla, PI


Civil and Environ. Engrg.

Microb. & Chem. Impacts on Risk & Health, Water Reuse

Qiong Zhang, PI


Civil and Environ. Engrg.

Systems Analysis, Life Cycle Assess., Tech. Adoption

Dennis Kekas


College of Engrg.

Industry Partnerships

Bernard Batson


Diversity Programs

Diversity and Inclusion

Margaret Blanchard



STEM Education

Senior Personnel

Katherine Alfredo, USF

Norma Alcantar, USF

Mohd Anwar, NCAT

Leila Hashemi Beni, NCAT

Emily Berglund, NCSU

Douglas Call, NCSU

Hadi Charkhgard, USF

Sriram Chellapan, USF

Jiayang Cheng, NCSU

Nathan Crook, NCSU

Bethany Cutts, NCSU

Dongyang Deng, NCAT

Christopher Doss, NCAT

Joel Ducoste, NCS

Christy Dykstra, SDSU

Nancy Diaz-Elsayed, USF

Ayse Ercumen, NCSU

Sarina Ergas, USF

Shawn Flanigan, SDSU

Temesgen Garoma, SDSU

Raymond Guiteras, NCSU

Angela Harris, NCSU

Detlef Knappe, NCSU

John Kuhn, USF

James Levis, NCSU

Stephanie Luster-Tealey, NCAT

Natalie Mladenov, SDSU

Shaerin Obare, NCAT

Emmanuel Obeng-Gyasi, NCAT

Mahmooda Pasha, USF

Ranji Ranjithan, NCSU

David Reif, NCSU

Louie Rivers, NCSU

Amy Stuart, USF

Yicheng Tu, USF

Christian Wells, USF

Mark Wheeler, SDSU-IV

Cassandra Workman, UNCG

Qingshan Wei, NCSU

Daniel Yeh, USF

Ren Zhao, NCAT