P.C. Rossin College of
Engineering and Applied Science

Associate Professor and Associate Chair; Co-Director, Lehigh Environmental Initiative
STEPS Building, Room 346
1 West Packer Ave.
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Phone Number: 
(610) 758-3543
Derick G. Brown

Areas of Research

Environmental Biotechnology
Environmental Nanotechnologies
Environmental Remediation
Engineering Processes for Enhanced Sustainability Fate and Transport of Containments and Pathogens
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Water Resources Engineering
Water Resource Management


As co-director of the Lehigh Environmental Initiative. His lab studies interactions between microorganisms and surfaces, focusing on the implications of bacterial attachment to surfaces; microbial attachment and transport through porous media, focusing on attachment and transport of microorganisms through both saturated and unsaturated porous media; and, microbial kinetics, as applied to remediation of environmental contaminants and treatment of waste streams, and how various environmental and engineering factors affect these kinetics.

Brown is recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award as well as the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science Teaching Excellence Award. He is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), American Geophysical Union (AGU), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), International Society for Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM),and Sigma Xi scientific research society, and the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. Brown is registered engineer in California and Pennsylvania, and holds a patent in the area of characterizing coal tar in soil.


Teaching and Service

To review Dr. Brown's current teaching portfolio, click here.

To meet his research group, current and former students, click here.


Selected Publications

Brown, D.G. and Hong, Y., 2011. “Impact of the charge-regulated nature of the bacterial cell surface on the activity of adhered cells.” Adhesion Sci. Technol., 25(17):2199-2218.

Hong, Y. and Brown, D.G., 2010.  “Alteration of bacterial surface electrostatic potential and pH upon adhesion to a solid surface and impacts to cellular bioenergetics.”  Biotechnol. Bioeng., 105(5):965-972.

Hong, Y. and Brown, D.G., 2009.  “Variation in bacterial ATP level and proton motive force due to adhesion to a solid surface.”  Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 75(8):2346-2353.

Cao, J., Zhang, W.-X., Brown, D.G., and Sethi, D., 2008.  “Oxidation of lindate with Fe(II)-activated sodium persulfate.” Environ. Engr. Sci., 25(2):221-228.

Hong, Y. and Brown, D.G., 2008. “Electrostatic behavior of the charge-regulated bacterial cell surface.” Langmuir, 24(9):5003-5009.

Tripathi, S. and Brown, D.G., 2008. “Effects of linear alkylbenzene sulfonate on the sorption of Brij 30 and Brij 35 onto aquifer sand.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 42(5):1492-1498.

Abramson, A. and Brown, D.G., 2007. “Influence of solution ionic strength on the collision efficiency distribution and predicted transport distance of a Sphingomonas sp. flowing through porous media.” Water Res., 41(19):4435-4445.

Brown, D.G., 2007. “Relationship between micellar and hemi-micellar processes and the bioavailability of surfactant-solubilized hydrophobic organic compounds.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 41(4):1194-1199.

Brown, D.G., 2007. “Adaptable method for estimation of parameters describing bacterial transport through porous media from column effluent data: Optimization based on data quality and quantity.” Coll. Surf. A: Physichem. Engineer. Aspects, 296(1-3):19-28.

X. Li, Brown, D.G., Zhang, W., 2007. "Zero-valent iron nanoparticles for stabilization of biosolids” J. Nanoparticle Res., 9(2):233-243.

Hong, Y. and Brown, D.G., 2006. “Cell surface acid-base properties of Escherichia coli and Bacillus brevis and variation as a function of growth phase, nitrogen source and C:N ratio.” Coll. Surf. B: Biointerfaces, 50(2):112-119.

Brown, D.G., Gupta, L, Kim, T.-H., Moo-Young, H.K., and Coleman, A.J., 2006. “Comparative assessment of coal tars obtained from 10 former manufactured gas plant sites in the eastern United States.” Chemosphere,65(9):1562-1569.

Brown, D.G. and Abramson, A., 2006. “Collision efficiency distribution of a bacterial suspension flowing through porous media and implications for field-scale transport.” Water Res., 40(8):1591-1598.

Brown, D.G. and Abramson, A., 2007. Erratum to “Collision efficiency distribution of a bacterial suspension flowing through porous media and implications for field-scale transport.” [Water Res., 40(8):1591-1598], Water Res., 41(3):719.

Brown, D.G. and Jaffé, P.R., 2006. “Effects of nonionic surfactants on the cell surface hydrophobicity and apparent Hamaker constant of a Sphingomonas sp.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 40(1):195-201.

Brown, D.G. and Al Nuaimi, K.S., 2005. “Nonionic surfactant sorption onto the bacterial cell surface: A multi-interaction isotherm.” Langmuir,21(24):11368-11372.

Brown, D.G., Gupta, L., Moo-Young, H.K. and Coleman, A., 2005. “Raoult's law-based method for determination of coal tar average molecular weight.” Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 24(8):1886-1892.

Brown, D.G., Komlos, J. and Jaffé, P.R., 2005. “Simultaneous utilization of acetate and hydrogen by Geobacter sulfurreducens and implications for use of hydrogen as an indicator of redox conditions.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 39(9):3069-3076.

Dong, H., Onstott, T.C., Ko, C.-H., Hollingsworth, A.D., Brown, D.G., and Mailloux, B.J., 2002. “Theoretical prediction of collision efficiency between adhesion-deficient bacteria and sediment grain surface.” Coll. Surf. B: Biointerfaces,24(3-4):229-245.

Brown, D.G., Stencel, J.R., and Jaffé, P.R., 2002. “Effects of porous media preparation on bacteria transport through laboratory columns.” Water Res., 36:105-114.

Brown, D.G., and Jaffé, P.R., 2001. “Effects of nonionic surfactants on bacterial transport through porous media.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 35(19):3877-3883.

Brown, D.G., and Jaffé, P.R., 2001. “Effects of nonionic surfactants on the UV/visible absorbance spectrum of bacterial cells.” Biotechnol. Bioeng., 74(6):476-482.

Brown, D.G., and Jaffé, P.R., 2001. “Spectrophotometric Assay of POE Nonionic Surfactants and its Application to Surfactant Sorption Isotherms.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 35(10):2022-2025.

Brown, D.G., Knightes, C.D., and Peters, C.A., 1999. “Risk assessment for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon NAPLs using component fractions.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 33(24):4357-4363.

Peters, C.A., Knightes, C.D., and Brown, D.G., 1999. “Long-term compositional dynamics of PAH-containing NAPLs and implications for risk assessment.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 33(24):4499-4507.

Brown, D.G., Guha, S., and Jaffé, P.R., 1999. “Surfactant-enhanced biodegradation of a PAH in soil slurry reactors.” Bioremediation J., 3(3):269-283.


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering,
M.A., Civil and Environmental Engineering,
M.S., Mechanical Engineering,
B.S., Aerospace Engineering,