MS and PhD Students (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

 (via AGU)
Washington State University
Pullman, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The Gardner Lab at Washington State University ( is seeking 1-2 highly motivated graduate students at the masters and doctoral level for Fall 2019. Graduate students will conduct research in one or more of the following areas: 1) the impact of climate change on the efficiency of biological treatment processes, 2) Using urban design to predict  and mitigate stormwater contamination, or 3) the impact of copper-based biocides on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance in water treatment systems.

The successful student will have a strong background in Civil & Environmental Engineering and/or molecular biology. We also welcome exceptional students from backgrounds outside of engineering–including biology, microbiology, chemistry, or similar disciplines.

The Gardner Lab investigates the interactions and dynamics between human mediated stressors on environmental microbiomes in both natural and engineered systems such as water and wastewater treatment plants. Our overarching goal is to bridge the gap between biotechnology, environmental bioprocesses, and engineering to understand how the community structure and function of environmental microbiomes are impacted by engineered systems as well as to increase the resilience and sustainability of these systems. Our core research focuses on 1) Assessing environmental microbiome structural and functional fingerprints within engineered and environmental systems, 2) Improving the sustainability of water and wastewater treatment by harnessing and manipulating interactions among microbiomes, and 3) Applying these approaches to manipulate environmental microbiomes for applications in water treatment technologies, ecosystem sustainability, and bioremediation. 


Required: A B.S. (an M.S. may be substituted for PhD students) degree in a science or engineering discipline related to civil and environmental engineering  (e.g. environmental sciences or engineering, hydrology, biology, agricultural and biological engineering, chemistry, and others). Applicants should have strong analytical and quantitative skill as demonstrated within academic transcripts and/or publication records. Strong candidates will also have experience working with microbiological and/or molecular biotechnology (e.g., PCR) as well as computing and/or coding skills (e.g., R). Finally, applicants should possess and demonstrate a potential for excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Gardner directly by email at or apply to the Civil & Environmental Engineering department through the graduate school at WSU. Please include CV and a personal statement that addresses your background, current research interests, and long-term goals. A competitive stipend with full tuition waiver will be provided to qualified candidates.

For more information about our Civil & Environmental Engineering department, please visit the following departmental websites: 

CEE (general):

MS Thesis:

MS Non-Thesis


Students with Non-Engineering Backgrounds