Dr. Kerry J. Howe

Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

Professor and Director of the Center for Water and the Environment


Department of Civil Engineering

University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM 87131-1351


phone:    505-277-2702

fax:          505-277-1988

email:    howe@unm.edu



Kerry Howe is a professor in the Civil Engineering Department and Director of the Center for Water and the Environment at UNM.  His areas of specialty include environmental engineering, physical and chemical processes for water and waste treatment, desalination, membrane processes for environmental treatment (including microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis), water chemistry, and engineering design.


Research projects have investigated the use of membranes in water and wastewater applications, including the fouling of reverse osmosis membrane when used for tertiary wastewater treatment for indirect potable reuse applications, selective recovery and beneficial use of salts and minerals from desalination concentrate, increasing the recovery of reverse osmosis by minimizing scaling, removal of fluoride from groundwater using aluminum coagulation and membrane filtration, and removal of pharmaceuticals during tertiary wastewater treatment using either reverse osmosis or ozone/biofiltration.


Dr. Howe is a registered professional engineer and a board certified environmental engineer (BCEE) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.  Prior to studying for his doctorate degree, Dr. Howe worked for environmental engineering consulting firms for more than 12 years.  During his time in consulting, he worked as project engineer or project manager on a wide variety of projects related to water treatment engineering, including treatability studies, regulatory compliance evaluations, facility evaluations, master plans, pilot studies, predesign, detailed design, construction management, and plant startup.  His practical engineering experience has a strong influence on his research and teaching activities.


He is a co-author of two of the leading textbooks for water treatment:

·       MWH’s Water Treatment: Principles and Design, 3rd ed.

·       Principles of Water Treatment


The Center for Water and the Environment had $2.6 million in research expenditures in FY 2016.  More information on the center is available here:  http://cwe.unm.edu .


Educational Background


BS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1984)

MS, Environmental Health Engineering, University of Texas at Austin (1986)

PhD, Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2001)


Courses Taught


CE 202:  Engineering Statics

CE 335:  Introduction to Water and Wastewater Treatment

CE 431/531:  Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes

CE 438/538:  Sustainable Engineering

CE 499:  Design of Civil Engineering Systems

CE 532:  Advanced Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes

CE 534:  Environmental Engineering Chemistry

CE 691:  Graduate Seminar



Harrison Faculty Recognition Award, UNM, 2015.


Stamm Outstanding Faculty Award, UNM, 2014.


Regents’ Lecturer, UNM, 2012.


Golden Spigot Award, American Water Works Association, Water Quality and Technology Division (for service in furthering the division's mission and goals), 2007.


Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, UNM School of Engineering, 2006.


Outstanding Young Investigator Award, UNM Chapter of Sigma Xi, 2004.


Honor Award for University Research, Excellence in Environmental Engineering competition, American Academy of Environmental Engineers (for doctoral dissertation), 2002.


Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


Farias, E.L., K.J. Howe, and B.M. Thomson.  “Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Organic Foulant Layers on Reverse Osmosis Membranes in Wastewater Reuse Applications,” Water Research. Vol. 58, pp. 102-110. 2014.


Farias, E.L., K.J. Howe, and B.M. Thomson.  “Effect of Membrane Bioreactor Solids Retention Time on Reverse Osmosis Membrane Fouling for Wastewater Reuse,” Water Research. Vol. 49, pp. 53-61. 2014.


Lee, C.O., K.J. Howe, and B.M. Thomson.  “Ozone and Biofiltration as an Alternative to Reverse Osmosis for Removing PPCPs and Micropollutants from Treated Wastewater,”  Water Research.  Vol. 46, No. 4, pp.  1005-1014.  2012.


Leavitt, J.J. K.J. Howe, and S.E. Cabaniss.  “Equilibrium Modeling of U(VI) Speciation in High Carbonate Groundwaters:  Model Error and Propagation of Uncertainty,”  Applied Geochemistry,  Vol. 265, No. 12, pp.  2019-2026.  2011.


Nguyen, A.H., J.E., Tobiason, and K.J. Howe.  “Fouling indices for low pressure hollow fiber membrane performance assessment.” Water Research.  Vol. 45, No. 8, pp.  2627-2637.  2011.   (Click for reprint)


Higgin, R., K.J. Howe, and T.M. Mayer.  “Synergistic Behavior between Silica and Alginate:  Novel Approach for Removing Silica Scale from RO Membranes.”  Desalination, Vol. 250, No. 1, pp.  76-81.  2010.  (Click for reprint)


Chen, D., K.J. Howe, J. Dallman, and B.C. Letellier.  “Corrosion of Aluminum in the Aqueous Chemical Environment of a Loss of Coolant Accident at a Nuclear Power Plant.”  Corrosion Science.  Vol. 50, No. 4, pp.  1046-1057.  April, 2008.  (Click for reprint)


Chen, D., K.J. Howe, J. Dallman, B.C. Letellier, M. Klasky, J. Leavitt, and B.P. Jain.  “Experimental Analysis of the Aqueous Chemical Environment Following a Loss-of-coolant Accident.”  Nuclear Engineering and Design.  Vol. 237, No. 20-21, pp. 2126-2136.  November, 2007.  (Click for reprint)


Howe, K.J., A. Marwah, K-P. Chiu, and S. Adham.  “Effect of Membrane Configuration on Bench-scale MF and UF Fouling Experiments.”  Water Research.  Vol. 41, No. 17, pp. 3842-3849.  September, 2007.  (Click for reprint)


Ghosh, A.K., K.J. Howe, A.K. Maji, B. Letellier, R. Johns, and T-Y. Chang.  “Head Loss Characteristics of a Fibrous Bed in a Chemical Environment.”  Journal of Nuclear Technology.  Vol. 157, No. 2, pp. 196-207.  February, 2007.  (Click for reprint)


Howe, K.J., A. Marwah, K-P. Chiu, and S. Adham.  “Effect of Coagulation on the Size of MF and UF Membrane Foulants."  Environmental Science and Technology.  Vol. 40, No. 24, pp. 7908-7913.  December 15, 2006.  (Click for reprint)


Howe, K.J. and M.M. Clark.  “Effect of Coagulation Pretreatment on Membrane Filtration Performance.”  Journal of the American Water Works Association.   Vol. 98, No. 4, pp. 133-146.  April, 2006.  (Click for reprint)


AWWA Membrane Technology Research Committee (primary authors I.C. Escobar, E.M. Hoek, C.J Gabelich, F.A. DiGiano, Y.A. Le Gouellec, P. Berube, and K.J. Howe).  “Committee Report:  Recent Advances and Research Needs in Membrane Fouling.”  Journal of the American Water Works Association.  Vol. 97, No. 8, pp. 79-89.  August, 2005.  (Click for reprint)


Koh, M., M.M. Clark, and K.J. Howe.  “Filtration of Lake Natural Organic Matter:  Adsorption Capacity of a Polypropylene Microfilter.”  Journal of Membrane Science.  Vol. 254, No. 1-2, pp. 169-175.  July, 2005.  (Click for reprint)


Howe, K.J. and M.M. Clark.  “Fouling of Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Membranes by Natural Waters.”  Environmental Science and Technology.  Vol. 36, No. 16, pp. 3571-3576.  August 15, 2002.  (Click for reprint)


Howe, K.J. K.P. Ishida, and M.M. Clark.  “Use of ATR/FTIR Spectrometry to Study Fouling of Microfiltration Membranes by Natural Waters.”  Desalination.  Vol. 147, No. 1-3, pp. 251-255.  September 10, 2002.  (Click for reprint)