STEPS Building, Room 324
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Phone Number: 
(610) 758-3220
Sibel Pamukcu

Areas of Research

Environmental Remediation and Mitigation
Underground Sensor Technology
Smart Geomaterials


A recognized expert in the field of electroremediation of soils and groundwater, Sibel Pamukcu's pioneering work spans more than two decades of research. Her efforts focus on soil and groundwater decontamination using electrochemical technologies; advanced geo-materials for environmental mitigation, and the application of sensor systems for distributed measurements in geo-media and civil infrastructure underground.

Current research activities in her lab encompass these focus areas:

  • Application of direct current electric field for enhanced recovery of oil, and for in-situ destruction of contaminants through enhanced redox in clay-rich soils and rock formations.
  • Development and application of distributed fiber-optic and wireless sensor systems for monitoring progressive changes in geo-media, underground structures, and foundations for preemptive mitigation of hazards.
  • Development of surface modified particulate media, including polymer-enhanced sand, for environmental mitigation as on-demand liquid barrier or oil-water separator in subsurface.   

Pamukcu is co-holder of several U.S. and international patents granted for the development of a testing procedure used in soil electro remediation and for the development and use of polymer coated sand and its use in environmental mitigation and separation. She has served as the principal and co-principal investigator for more than 60 grants and contracts from national and state agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In addition, Dr. Pamukcu is co-author of more than 50 peer–reviewed journal articles and more than 100 technical contributions in the form of conference proceedings, research reports and book chapters. 

Dr. Pamukcu is a co-PI of Lehigh’s NSF ADVANCE grant,  a past recipient of the ASCE Civil Engineering Foundation Grant Award and the Alfred Noble Robinson Award given by Lehigh University.


Teaching and Service

Dr. Pamukcu teaches courses in Geotechnical, Geo-environmental and Foundations Engineering at the undergraduate level; and Advanced Soil Mechanics and Soil Dynamics at the graduate level. She has supervised nine completed Ph.D. student dissertations, more than 25 completed M.S. student theses, and served on 25 doctoral dissertation committees. Some of her former Ph.D. students are now faculty members at national and international institutes.

From 2000-01 and in 2012-13 Dr. Pamukcu served as the Lehigh University Chapter President of Sigma Xi. She has served on the faculty of the Martindale Center for the Study of Private Enterprise at Lehigh University, and was appointed co-director of the Lehigh ADVANCE and interim Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2011-2013.


Selected Publications

Couto N, Ferreira AN, Lopes V, Peters P, Pamukcu S, Ribeiro AB, “Rare Earth Elements: Overview, General Concepts, and Recovery Techniques, Including Electrodialytic Extraction” Ch. 7 in Electrokinetic Remediation for Environmental Security and Sustainability, eds.  AB Ribeiro, MNV Prasad, pp. 159-173, John Wiley & Sons, 2021. ISBN 9781119670117

Couto, NPFS, Ferreira AR, Lopes, V, Peters S, Ribeiro AB, Pamukcu, S “Electrodialytic Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Ashes” Electrochimica Acta, 359, 2020. https://doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136934

Zanko, LM, Wittle, JK and Pamukcu, S “Case Study: Electrochemical Geo-Oxidation (ECGO) Treatment of Massachusetts New Bedford Harbor Sediment PCBs” Electrochimica Acta, 354, 2020. https://doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136690

Dong, Y and Pamukcu, S “Synthesis of Surface Modified Sands with Thermal-Responsive Wettability” J. of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 32: 9 – Sept, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0003311

Ayodele, AL, Agbede, OA and Pamukcu S “Plasticity Modification of a Tropical Laterite by Electrochemical Treatment,” Electrochimica Acta, 341, 136047, 2020. https://doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2020.136047 

Bustos, E, Méndez, E, Prieto-Garcia, F, Hernández, G, García, J, Solís, S, Pamukcu S, “Study of Electrochemical Removal of Phenantrene in Bentonite Clay by Physicochemical Indicators.” Separation and Purification Technology, 12: 92-99,  2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2018.04.078

Pamukcu S, “In-situ soil and sediment remediation:  Electrokinetic and electrochemical methods,” Handbook of Environmental Engineering, Wiley, ed. Myer Kutz, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1118712948, https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119304418.ch8

Ayodele AL, Pamukcu S, Shrestha RA, Agbede OA, “Electrochemical Soil Stabilization and Verification,” Geotech Geol Eng, Volume 36, 2:1283–1293 Springer, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-017-0392-8

Pamukcu S, Cheng L, and Pervizpour M, “Introduction and Overview of Underground Sensing for Sustainable Response,” Ch 1, in Underground Sensing: Monitoring for environment and infrastructure, (co-editors: Pamukcu and Cheng), pp. 1-42, Elsevier, Academic Press, 2017. https://doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-803139-1.00001-1

Pamukcu S, and Cheng, L, “Outlook: Advanced Hybrid Sensing for Preemptive Response,” in Underground Sensing: Monitoring for environment and infrastructure, (co-editors: Pamukcu and Cheng), pp. 455-494, Elsevier, Academic Press, 2017. https://doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-803139-1.00009-6

Pamukcu S and Cheng L, Underground Sensing: Monitoring for environment and infrastructure, (co-eds: Pamukcu and Cheng), Elsevier, Academic Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-12-8031391.  https://www.elsevier.com/books/underground-sensing/pamukcu/978-0-12-803139-1

Lima AT, Hofmann A, Reynolds D, Ptacek C, Van Cappellen P, Ottosen L,  Pamukcu S, Alshawabekh A, O’Carroll D, Riis C, Cox E, Gent D, R Landis, Wang J, Chowdhury A, Secord E,  Sanchez-Hachair A, “Environmental Electrokinetics for a Sustainable Subsurface,” Chemosphere 181: 122-133, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.03.143

Pamukcu S, Shrestha RA, Ribeiro AB, Mateus E, “Electrically Induced Displacement Transport of Immiscible Oil In Saline Sediments,” J. of Hazardous Materials, Elsevier, 313:185-192, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.04.005

Hou Tian-shun, Wang Xin-gang, Pamukcu S, “Geological Characteristics and Stability Evaluation of Wanjia Middle School Slope in Wenchuan Earthquake Area,” Geotech  Geol Eng, 2015, 1-13; Springer Verlag; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-015-9941-1

Shrestha RA, Zhang AP, Mateus EP, Ribeiro AB, Pamukcu S, “Electrokinetically Enabled De-swelling of Clay,” Ch 3, in Electrokinetics Across Disciplines and Continents, pp. 43-56, Springer, 2015. https://doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20179-5_3

Gomes HI, Rodríguez-Maroto JM, Ribeiro AB, Pamukcu S, Dias-Ferreira C, “Electrokinetics and Zero Valent Iron Nanoparticles: Experimental and Modeling of the Transport in Different Porous Media,” Ch 14, in Electrokinetics Across Disciplines and Continents, pp.279-294, Springer, 2015. https://doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20179-5_14

Gomes HI, Rodríguez-Maroto JM, Dias-Ferreira C, Pamukcu S, Ribeiro AB, “Numerical prediction of diffusion and electric field-induced iron nanoparticle transport,” Electrochimica Acta,18:5–12; 2015.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2014.11.157

Cui Q, Pamukcu S, Pervizpour M, “Impact Wave Monitoring in Soil Using Dynamic Fiber Sensor Based on Stimulated Brillouin Scattering,” Sensors,15:8163-8172; 2015. https://doi:10.3390/s1504081632015

García JA, Monzón D, Martínez A, Pamukcu S, García R, Bustos E, “Optical Fibers to Detect Heavy Metals in Environment: Generalities and Case Studies,” 427, Ch. 15 in Environmental Sciences: Environmental Risk Assessment of Soil Contamination,  Hernandez-Soriano eds.,  InTech, NY, 2014. https://doi.org/10.5772/57285

Ghazanfari E, Pamukcu S, “Mathematical Modeling of Electrokinetic Transport and Enhanced Oil Recovery in Porous Geo-media,” Chapter 5 in Electrokinetics for Petroleum and Environmental Engineers, eds. G Chilingar and M Haroun; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, and Scrivener Publishing, LLC, Massachusetts; pp.177-236; 2014. https://doi: 10.1002/9781118842805.ch5

Pamukcu, S, Ghazanfari, E, Wittle, JK, “Reduction of Contaminants in Soil and Water by Direct Electric Current,” Ch 2, in Electrokinetics for Petroleum and Environmental Engineers, eds. G Chilingar and M Haroun; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New Jersey, and Scrivener Publishing, LLC, Massachusetts; pp.33-102; 2014. https://doi: 10.1002/9781118842805.ch2

Demir A, Pamukcu S, Shrestha RA, “Simultaneous Removal of Pb, Cd and Zn from Heavily Contaminated Mine Tailing Soil Using Enhanced Electrochemical Process” Environmental Eng. Science, 32(5), 416-424, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2014.0384

Sun TR, Pamukcu S, Ottosen LM, Wang F, “Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium in Contaminated Clay by Direct Current Transported Ferrous Iron: Kinetics, Energy Consumption, and Application of Pulse Current,” Chemical Engineering 262: 1099-1107, Elsevier, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2014.10.081

Ghazanfari E, Pamukcu S, Pervizpour M, Karpyn Z,  "Investigation of generalized relative permeability coefficients for electrically assisted oil recovery in oil formations" J. Transport in Porous Media, Springer, 105: 235–253, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-014-0368-6

Dong Y, Pamukcu S, “Thermal, electrical conduction in unsaturated sand controlled by surface wettability,” Acta Geotechnica, 10:6, 821–829, Springer, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11440-014-0317-0

Gomes HI, Dias-Ferreira C, Ribeiro AB, Pamukcu S, “Influence of electrolyte and voltage on the direct current enhanced transport of iron nanoparticles in low permeability media,” Chemosphere, 99: 171–179, 2014. https://doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.10.065

Shin S, Chilingar  GV, Haroun M, Wittle K, Meshkati N, Pamukcu S, Jeoung J, Koo H, “Electrokinetics Technology to Improve Acidizing of Carbonate Reservoir Rocks,” J. of Environmental Protection,  4:4, 1-3, 2013.  https://doi.org/10.4236/jep.2013.44A001

Brosky RT, Pamukcu S, “The Role of DDL Processes During Electrolytic Reduction of Cu(II) in Low Oxygen Environment,” J. of Hazardous Materials, 262: 878-882, Elsevier, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.09.032

Gomes HI, Dias-Ferreira C, Ribeiro AB,  Pamukcu S, "Direct current assisted transport and transformation of zero-valent nanoiron in porous media,"  J. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, Springer, 224:1710. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-013-1710-2

Ghazanfari E, Pamukcu S, Yoon S, Suleiman MT, Cheng L, "Geotechnical Sensing Using Electromagnetic Attenuation Between Radio Transceivers," Smart Materials  & Structures, 21(12),125017, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1088/0964-1726/21/12/125017

Yoon S, Ghazanfari E, Cheng L, Wang Z, Pamukcu S, Suleiman MT, " Subsurface Event Detection and Classification Using Wireless Sensor Networks," Sensors, 12(11), 14862-14886, 2012. https://doi.org/10.3390/s121114862

Shin S, Chilingar GV, Haroun M, Ghosh B, Meshkati N, Pamukcu S, Wittle JK, Al Badawi M, “The Effect of Generated Chlorine Gas on Electroremediation of Heavy Metals from Offshore Muds,” J. of Environ. Protection, 3, 363-373, 2012. https://doi.org/10.4236/jep.2012.35046

Al Shalabi EW, Ghosh B, Haroun M, Pamukcu S, “Application of Direct Current Potential to Enhancing Water Flood Recovery Efficiency,” Petroleum Science and Technology, 30:20, 2160-2168, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1080/10916466.2010.547902

Al Shalabi EW, Ghosh B, Haroun M, Pamukcu S, “Stimulation of Sandstone Reservoirs Using DC Potential,” Petroleum Science and Technology, 30:20, 2137-2147, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1080/10916466.2010.551811

Gomes IH, Ferreira CD, Ribeiro AB, Pamukcu S, “Electrokinetic enhanced transport of zero valent iron nanoparticles for chromium (VI) reduction in soils,” Chemical Engineering Transactions, 28, 139-144, 2012. https://doi.org/10.3303/CET1228024

Ghazanfari E, Shrestha R, Miroshnik A, Pamukcu S, "Electrically assisted liquid hydrocarbon transport in porous media", Electrochimica Acta, 86, 185– 191, Elsevier, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2012.04.077

Cui Q, Pamukcu S, Xiao W, Pervizpour M, “Truly Distributed Fiber Vibration Sensor Using Pulse Base BOTDA with Wide Dynamic Range," IEEE Photonics Techn. Letters, 3:24, 1887-1889, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1109/LPT.2011.2170968

Qui Q, Pamukcu S, Lin A, Xiao W, Herr D, Toulouse J,  Pervizpour M, “Distributed Temperature Sensing System Based on Rayleigh Scattering BOTDA,” IEEE Sensors Journal, 11(2), 399-403, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2010.2066558

Muraoka T, Ghazanfari E, Shrestha R, Pamukcu S, “Electrically Induced Pore Pressures in High Salt Content Clay Slurry” J. Separation and Purification Technology, 79, 133–138, Elsevier, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2011.02.032

Pervizpour M, Pamukcu S, “Characterization of a surrogate swelling polymer as a functional sensor for distributed liquid sensing,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 168, 242–252, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sna.2011.04.026

Haroun M, Chilingar GV, Pamukcu S, “The Efficacy of Using Electrokinetic Transport in Highly-Contaminated Offshore Sediments,” J. Applied Electrochemistry, 40:1131-1138, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-010-0084-z

Akbulut S, Pamukcu S, “Evaluation of Dynamic Properties of Geosynthetic Reinforced Clay Samples for Environmental Impact Practices,” Environ Earth Sci., 61:1449–1456, Springer, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-010-0460-3

Cui Q, Pamukcu S, Lin A, Xiao W, Toulouse J, “Performance of Double Sideband Modulated Probe Wave in BOTDA Distributed Fiber Sensor,” Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, 52, 2713-2717, 2010. https://doi.org/10.1002/mop.25566

Cui Q, Pamukcu S, Xiao W, Guintrand C, Toulouse J, Pervizpour M, “Distributed Fiber Sensor Based on Modulated Pulse Base Reflection and Brillouin Gain Spectrum Analysis,” Applied Optics, Vol. 48(30), 5823-5828, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1364/AO.48.005823

Pamukcu S, “Electrochemical Transport and Transformations” Chapter 2 in Electrochemical Remediation Technologies for Polluted Soils, Sediments and Groundwater, Reddy and Camaselle eds., pp. 29-65, John Wiley & Sons, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470523650.ch2

Wittle JK, Pamukcu S, Bowman D, Zanko LM, Doering F, “Field Studies on Sediment Remediation,” Chapter 32  in Electrochemical Remediation Technologies for Polluted Soils, Sediments and Groundwater, Reddy and Camaselle, eds.,  pp. 661-696, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ 9780470523650.ch32

Pamukcu S, Hannum L, Wittle JK “Delivery and Activation of Nano-iron by DC Electric Field,” J. Environ. Sci. Health, Part A, 43:8, 934-944, 2008. https://doi.org/10.1080/10934520801974483

Pamukcu S, Akbulut S, “Thermoelastic Enhancement of Damping of Sand Using Granular Synthetic Rubber,” J. Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Eng., ASCE 132(4), 501–510, 2006. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2006)132:4(501)

Akbulut S, Hasiloglu S, Pamukcu S, “Data Generation for Shear Modulus and Damping Ratio in Reinforced Sands Using Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System,” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 24(11), 805-814, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soildyn.2004.04.006

Pamukcu S, Weeks A, Wittle JK, “Enhanced Reduction of Cr (VI) by Direct Electric Current in a Contaminated Clay,” Environmental Science and Technology, ACS, 38(4), 1236-1241, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1021/es034578v

Pervizpour M, Pamukcu S, Moo-Young H, “Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Porous Media,” J. Comput. Civ. Eng., ASCE 13(2), 96–102, 1999. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0887-3801(1999)13:2(96)

Kershaw D, Kulik B, Pamukcu S, “Ground Rubber: Sorption Media for Ground Water Containing Benzene and O-Xylene,” J. Geotech.  Geoenvi. Eng., ASCE 123(4), 324–334; 1997. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(1997)123:4(324) 

Pamukcu S, Weeks A, Wittle JK, “Electrochemical extraction and stabilization of selected inorganic species in porous media,” J. of Hazardous Materials, 55(1-3), 305–318, 1997.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3894(97)00025-3

Chang FT, Lennon GP, Pamukcu S, Carson B, “Modeling of Fluid Expulsion and Deformation Behavior of Dewatering Sediments,” Int. J. for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 17 (8), 531-551, 1993. https://doi.org/10.1002/nag.1610170802

Pamukcu S, Wittle JK, “Electrokinetic Removal of Selected Heavy Metals from Soil,” Environmental Progress, AIChE, 11(3), 241-250, 1992. https://doi.org/10.1002/ep.670110323

Seed HB, Chaney RC, Pamukcu S, “Earthquake Effects on Soil-Foundation Systems,” Foundation Engineering Handbook. Springer, Boston, MA., ed. Fang HY, 1991. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-3928-5_16

Winterkorn HF, Pamukcu S, “Soil Stabilization and Grouting,” Foundation Engineering Handbook. Springer, Boston, MA., ed. Fang HY, 1991. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-3928-5_9

Pamukcu S, “Shear Modulus of Soft Marine Clays,” J. of Offshore Mechanics & Arctic Engineering, ASME, 111(4), 265-272, 1989. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3257094


Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University
M.S., Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University
B.S., Civil Engineering, Bogazici University, Turkey