Team

Emily Kumpel
PI

Dr. Emily Kumpel (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (EWRE) group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Kumpel has over a decade of experience conducting research on topics including intermittent water supply, water quality in distribution systems, water access and equity, water quality monitoring, and the use of information and communication technologies in water delivery systems. Prior to joining the faculty at UMass, Dr. Kumpel was a Senior Research Scientist with the Aquaya Institute, where she was based in Nairobi, Kenya, for three years. She has conducted extensive field research in India, Kenya, Senegal, and Nigeria, and collaborated on research projects in more than a dozen other countries throughout Africa and Asia.

 

c.v.   ·   Google Scholar   ·   Research Gate

Joining the group. If you are interested in joining our research group to work on research related to drinking water and sanitation quality, access, and reliability in developing countries and in the US, please contact me (ekumpel (at) umass (dot) edu) with which elements of the research described on these pages interests you, as well as your experience and how you would fit into the group. Applications to the CEE department at UMass are due in early January every year.

Current Post-Docs and PhD Students

Kaycie Lane
Postdoc

Kaycie Lane is a Postdoctoral Researcher at UMass Amherst focusing on drinking water technology solutions for small systems. She received her Ph.D. in 2020 from the Civil Engineering Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, focusing on risk management for small and rural communities. She graduated from Colorado School of Mines in 2014 with a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics with a double minor in Biology and Humanitarian Engineering. Kaycie has worked with municipal, Indigenous and Arctic communities during her research to examine how water safety planning can be used in Canada to support more holistic water management. Her research at Amherst focuses on understanding the implications of implementing alternative solutions for small systems management including: point of use treatment options, innovative technologies, and the economic, health and environmental impacts of these solutions. Outside of research, she teaches group fitness, is a personal trainer, and enjoys hikes and mountain bikes in Utah with her family.

 

Current research: Evaluating POU/POE devices as a compliance solution for small drinking water systems in the US, examining state-specific guidance on innovative treatment technologies, evaluating the use of trucked water globally

Karina Chavarria
Postdoc

Karina Chavarria (she/her) is a postdoctoral researcher at UMass Amherst in Dr. Kumpel’s research group. She completed her B.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA in 2012 and worked for a short time as a civil engineer for the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Division). In 2014, Karina received her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley and after joined the Foundation Cantaro Azul in Chiapas, Mexico to work on the development of water quality testing protocols and surveys for the National Assessment of Drinking Water Access in Rural Communities in Mexico. In 2016, she started her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley (completed in 2021), investigating the effects of land use on water microbiomes and the effects of treatment, distribution, and intermittent water supply (IWS) on microbial communities in drinking water in Panama. During her Ph.D., Karina was a research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where she continued her research as a postdoctoral fellow. Her current research includes understanding how key features of IWS influence disinfection byproducts and microbial communities in distribution systems. Her broader research interests include impacts of climate change on water microbial ecosystems, microbial communities at the interface of drinking water infrastructure and environmental health, waterborne pathogens, and sustainable drinking water and sanitation.

Nelson da Luz
PhD

Nelson da Luz is a PhD graduand in the Kumpel lab group. He defended his dissertation in December 2021. He received his BS in Civil Engineering and ME in Environmental Engineering from Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. He has had his Engineer in Training qualification since 2015. His research is centered around enhancing management of built and natural water and sanitation infrastructure using data science. Past research projects have included bioaccumulation and sediment transport modeling, evaluating water quality monitoring programs for distribution systems, and developing tools for evaluating surface water quality monitoring programs. His most recent research efforts have focused on using machine learning to identify locations of buried sanitation infrastructure. Nelson has been an instructor for the UMass College of Engineering First Year Seminar twice, designing and teaching the course “Working with Data for Engineers”. When he’s not doing research, Nelson enjoys exploring cities, hiking, cooking, and board games.

 

Current Research: Machine learning and GIS applications for predicting buried sanitation infrastructure types across the United States

LinkedIn
Amanda Marques
PhD

Amanda Marques is currently pursuing her PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She received her Bachelor of Science in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Federal Fluminense University, Brazil, with a Minor Degree in Sustainability Studies from Roger Williams University. Amanda received her Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Brazil. Her work there as a graduate research assistant was to investigate water demand and supply projections under climate change scenarios, aiming to come up with sustainable ways to manage multiple water uses within one of Brazil’s most challenging watershed. She started her PhD at UMass Amherst in the Spring of 2020. Her research focus on water quality in the Wachusett and Quabbin reservoirs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Amanda enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, cooking, and photography. Amanda is co-advised by Christian Guzman.

 

Current research: Reservoir water quality modeling; Surface-subsurface contaminant transport characterization using environmental tracers.

LinkedIn
Ciara Little
PhD

Ciara Little is currently pursuing their PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They received their Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in 2021. During this time their research focused on human-centered design and robotics, material testing, and sustainability. Their current research interests center around equity and access within water quality and infrastructure, along with sustainable development, water reuse, and intermittent water supply.

Gabriel Mesole
PhD

Gabriel Mesole is pursuing his PhD in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. Gabriel is a member of the 2021 cohort of Spaulding-Smith Fellows and a Gates Millennium Scholar (Class of 2016). He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Technology. Gabriel is interested in pathogen detection, transmission, and antibiotic resistance in water systems. He aims to work with water, sanitation, and hygiene issues in low- and middle-income countries to develop innovative solutions and achieve equitable, accessible, and reliable clean water. Gabriel enjoys playing/watching soccer, hiking, listening to podcasts, cooking, and photography during his downtime.

 

Current Research: Investigating Total Coliform Spikes in the Quabbin Reservoir

LinkedInTwitter

Current MS Students

Hannah Wharton
MS

Hannah Wharton is pursuing her Master’s of Science in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UMass Amherst in 2019. As an undergraduate, Hannah worked in the Water, Energy and Technology Center, testing pilot water treatment technologies. Hannah completed her undergraduate thesis on comparing the removal and inactivation of E. coli and total coliform in point-of-use water treatment for low income settings. She also greatly enjoyed being a project manager for UMass Engineers Without Borders’ Kenya project, with which she travelled on implementation trips twice in her undergrad. Hannah worked for a specialized water, wastewater, & stormwater consulting engineering firm for a year before starting her Master’s degree. For her master's work, Hannah is studying the fate and transport of bacterial contaminants in intermittent water supply and is hoping to pursue her PhD in pathogen transmission in WASH. In her free time, Hannah likes teaching kickboxing, traveling, swimming, hiking, and baking.

 

Current Research: pathogen transport in intermittent water supply

Carlos Veras
MS

Carlos Veras (he/him) is a master's student in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He graduated with a BS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering from Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, with a Minor in Sustainability Studies from Roger Williams University. Carlos's undergraduate thesis investigated methodologies to estimate the environmental flow of rivers. His current research interests include watershed/reservoir modeling and water quality. He is interested in pursuing a PhD with research interests in machine learning applications for water resources engineering. In his free time, Carlos is usually enjoying the outdoors, cooking or watching soccer. Carlos is co-advised by John Tobiason.

 

Current research: Total Coliform in the Quabbin Reservoir, MA. Currently investigating the abnormal high concentrations of total coliform in the reservoir aiming to determine which watershed conditions lead to this so called “coliform blooms” and to establish causal relationship with available water quality parameters.

Tom Roberts
MS

Tom Roberts is a master's student in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He graduated from UMass in 2021 with a BS in Civil Engineering and a BA in Economics. Tom's undergraduate thesis investigated the extent and distribution of PFAS contamination in Massachusetts water supplies, overlaying water quality data with sociodemographic data. For his master’s research, Tom is investigating disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation and speciation in intermittent systems. After graduation, he is interested in pursuing a PhD with research interests in drinking water quality, organic matter, chemical disinfection, DBPs, and sustainable development. Tom supports efforts to increase representation and inclusion in STEM, and in his free time, he can be found running, drinking coffee, or listening to public radio. Tom is co-advised by Dave Reckhow.

 

Current research: DBPs in intermittent systems, photolysis of N-DBP, impact of storm events on DBP formation and speciation

LinkedIn

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Liam Amery
BS

Liam Amery (he/him) is a senior undergraduate student in Civil & Environmental Engineering and is expecting to graduate in May 2022. He is currently working on his senior thesis which is a statistical analysis of the results of 5+ years of lead and copper testing in water in Massachusetts schools and the factors associated with elevated lead levels. After graduation he wants to continue doing work related to drinking water or hydrology, either as a consultant or continuing as a researcher; his main inspiration is improving the quality of and access to clean water for everyone. In addition to his classes he is a project manager for Engineers Without Borders-UMass where they work with a community in Nguluni, Kenya to implement projects intended to improve accessibility to clean water. Outside of academics Liam loves being outside; he spends most of his free time running or hiking and some of his most notable adventures over the past year include backpacking in Denali, climbing the highest peak in the U.S. east of the Rockies, and running a marathon.

 

Current research: Lead and copper contamination in Massachusetts school drinking water

Alumni

NameProgram, YearResearchPosition After Graduation
Bridgette CharleboisMS, 2021Rain Rain Flush Away: Evaluating Rainwater Catchment First Flush Volumes,Adjudication Engineer, Division of Water Rights at Utah Department of Natural Resources
Mimi AlkattanMS, 2021Effect of Intermittent Water Supply on Water Quality in A Model Pipeloop
Savannah WunderlichMS, 2020Optimizing Household Water Decisions for Managing Intermittent Water Supply in Mexico City
LeighAnn D'AndreaMS, 2019Developing a Toolkit for Citizen Scientists' Evaluation of Drinking Water QualityProject Programmer, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, US Air Force
Stephen StamegnaBS, 2019Pipeloop construction and operation
Akshay DelityBS, 2019An Experimentally-Backed Computational Fluid Dynamics Model of Water Storage Tank Geometries and OrientationsPeace Corps
Siddhi RathiBS, 2019Use of multiple water sources in Hubli-Dharwad, IndiaMS, Carnegie Mellon University
Hannah WhartonBS, 2019Comparing removal and inactivation of E. coli and total coliform in point-of-use water treatment for low income settingsTata & Howard
Farah RawasBS, 2018Comparing utility-reported hours of piped water supply to
households’ experiences
MS, University of British Columbia