Sustainable Environmental Engineering Research (SEER) Group

The Sustainable Engineering Research Group focuses on:

  1. Generating sustainable renewable energy from bio-wastes (food waste, landfill organic wastes, and industrial wastes like vinasse from ethanol production), primarily via anaerobic microbial decomposition which generates methane.
  2. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions (primarily methane from landfills).
  3. Life cycle environmental analysis, with the goal of reducing environmental impacts of products, structures, and processes.

Current Projects

  1. "Food & Flora Waste to Fleet Fuel: Development and Application of the F4 Framework," funded by the Center for Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars (CTEDD), ($122,751), PI Melanie Sattler, Co-PIs Ardeshir Anjomani, Arpita Bhatt, Victoria Chen, Kate Hyun, and Caroline Krejci.
  2. "Integrated Urban Flood Management: Examining a Global Issue via a Local Case Study," funded by UT Arlington College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs (CAPPA) Water and Human Settlements Program ($20,000), 2019-2020, PI Karabi Bezboruah, Co-PI Melanie Sattler.
  3. "Manhole Corrosion Protection Assessment" funded by the City of Arlington, TX ($490,223), 2017-2020, PI Melanie Sattler, Co-PIs Arpita Bhatt and Victoria Chen.
    Fall 2018 Stories  

  4. Decision Analytics for Joint Optimization of Urban Life Environments (JOULE),” funded by UT Arlington Interdisciplinary Research Program ($20,000), 2018-2019, PI Victoria Chen, Co-PIs Jay Rosenberger, Shouyi Wang, Susan Ferreira, Wei-Jen Lee, Melanie Sattler, Ardeshir Anjomani, Atefe Makhmalbaf.

Former Students

Former students have found environmental engineering and science positions in a variety of sectors across the US and around the world:

Academia: American Public University System, Collin County College, Dallas Baptist University, Mountain View College, Texas A&M Commerce, University of North Texas Health Science Center, UTA, Chiang Mai University (Thailand), King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (Thailand), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Consulting: AECOM, Apex Companies, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Freeman-Millican, Hydromax, Kleinfelder, Modern Geosciences, Ramboll Environ, SCS Engineers, Trinity Consultants, Consolidated Consultants Group (Jordan), Oman Environmental Services Holding Company

Government: City of Fort Worth, City of San Diego, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, US Environmental Protection Agency; Pollution Control Department, Thailand

Industry: Amazon Web Services, AT&T, Flint Hills Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (United Arab Emirates)

Tools

CLEEN Model: (Capturing Landfill Emissions for Energy Needs) (see link here https://www.uta.edu/swis/about.html): estimates methane generation from landfills for developed countries.

TransportLifeCAMM: The Urban Passenger Transportation LCA for Comparison Across Modes Model - allows users in any major city in the US and Mexico to compare life cycle environmental impacts from automobile, bus, and/or subway.

STEP-L Dashboard: (Space Transportation Environmental Profile to Launch): Estimates environmental impacts from the consumables used for launch of a commercial space vehicle

Personnel

Melanie L. Sattler, Ph.D., P.E.
Syed Qasim Endowed Professor
Phone: (817) 272-5410 Email: sattler@uta.edu

Dr. Sattler has been a full-time faculty member in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington since 2003. She and her students have published around 50 journal papers and given over 100 conference presentations. She teaches courses related to sustainable engineering, solid waste management, and air quality.

Prior to joining UTA, she worked in environmental positions in consulting and local government. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

Arpita Bhatt, Ph.D., E.I.T.
Email: arpita.bhatt@uta.edu

Dr. Bhatt has served as a post-doctoral research associate and adjunct faculty at UTA since 2014. Her research interests span sustainable solid waste management, greenhouse gas emission reduction from landfills, renewable energy from wastes. She has taught varieties of undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental and general civil engineering. Dr. Bhatt has prior experience working in consulting and local government. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from UTA.

Students

Aiswarya Mohanakrishnan
M.S. in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management)
e-mail: Aiswarya.Acharathmohanak@mavs.uta.edu

Mithila Chakraborty
Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management)
e-mail: Mithila.Chakraborty@mavs.uta.edu

Mateo Galvez
Undergraduate Researcher in Civil Engineering
e-mail: Mateo.galvez@mavs.uta.edu

Sunakshi Hada
Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering)
Email: Sunakshi.Hada@mavs.uta.edu

Rafat Mohammad
M.E. in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management)
e-mail: Rafatuzzama.Mohammad@mavs.uta.edu

Ketan Shah
Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management)
e-mail: Ketan.Shah@mavs.uta.edu

Ankita Sinha
M.E. in Civil Engineering (Sustainable Solid Waste Engineering and Management)
e-mail: Ankita.Sinha@mavs.uta.edu

Recent Publications

Journal Papers

Energy from Waste

Kositkanawuth, Ketwalee; Bhatt, Arpita; Sattler, Melanie; Dennis, Brian. “Renewable Energy from Waste: Investigation of Co-Pyrolysis between Sargassum Macroalgae and Polystyrene.” Energy & Fuels. Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 5088–5096, April 18, 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b03397.

Karanjekar, Richa V.; Bhatt, Arpita; Altouqi, Said; Jangikhatoonabad, Neda; Durai , Vennila; Sattler, Melanie L.; Hossain, M.D. Sahadat; Chen, Victoria “Estimating methane emissions from landfills based on rainfall, ambient temperature, and waste composition: The CLEEN Model.” Waste Management, Vol. 46, Dec. 2015, pp. 389-398, doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2015.07.030http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X15300477 .

Alsaleh, Ali; Sattler, Melanie. “Waste Tire Pyrolysis: Influential Parameters and Product Properties.” Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports. Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 129-135, Dec. 2014, doi: 10.1007/s40518-014-0019-0, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40518-014-0019-0.

 Kositkanawuth, Ketwalee; Sattler, Melanie L.; Dennis, Brian. “Pyrolysis of Macroalgae and Polystyrene: A Review.” Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports. Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 121-128, Dec. 2014, doi: 10.1007/s40518-014-0020-7, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40518-014-0020-7.

Sattler, Melanie. “Anaerobic Municipal Wastewater Treatment: A Beneficial Option for Developing Countries.” Current Environmental Engineering. Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 126-135, published online 8/3/14, doi: 10.2174/2212717801666140707161049, http://www.eurekaselect.com/123188/article.

Life Cycle Analysis

Alsaleh, Ali; Sattler, Melanie. “Life Cycle Assessment of Large Wind Turbines in the US.” Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. Vol. 21, No. 4, May 2019, pp. 887-903, doi: 10.1007/s10098-019-01678-0, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-019-01678-0 .

Chilana, Lalit; Bhatt, Arpita; Najafi, Mohammad; Sattler, Melanie. “Comparison of Carbon Footprints of Steel vs. Concrete Pipelines for Water Transmission.” Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. Vol. 66, May 2016, pp. 518-527, doi:10.1080/10962247.2016.1154487, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10962247.2016.1154487 .

Broun, Reza; Sattler, Melanie. “A comparison of greenhouse gas emissions and potential electricity recovery from conventional and bioreactor landfills.” Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 112, Part 4, Jan. 2016, pp. 2664–2673, doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.010http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652615013918 .

Air Quality

Khalaj, Fatemeh; Sattler, Melanie. “Modeling of VOCs and Criteria Pollutants from Multiple Natural Gas Well Pads in Close Proximity, for Different Terrain Conditions. Atmospheric Pollution Research. Published on-line 2/15/19, doi.org/10.1016/j.apr.2019.02.007. https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uta.edu/science/article/abs/pii/S130910421830429X .

Wimolrattanasil, Thanasorn; Thepanondh, Sarawut; Sattler, Melanie L.; Laowagul, Wanna. “Quantitative evaluation of cleaner production and environmental policy towards the co-benefit of greenhouse gas and odor reduction: Case study of Tapioca starch industry.” Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Vol. 20, No. 10, Dec. 2018, pp. 2333-2343, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10098-018-1609-0 .

Sirithian, Duanpen; Thepanondh, Sarawut; Sattler, Melanie L.; Laowagul, Wanna. “Emissions of volatile organic compounds from maize residue open burning in the northern region of Thailand.” Atmospheric Environment. Vol. 176, March 2018, pp. 179-187, doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.12.032, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.12.032.

Gangupomu, Roja Haritha*; Sattler, Melanie L.; Ramirez, David. “Comparative Study of Carbon Nanotubes and Granular Activated Carbon: Physicochemical Properties and Adsorption Capacities.” Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 302, Jan. 2016, pp. 362-374, doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.09.002http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304389415300571 .

Athappan, Annaprabha; Sattler, Melanie L., Sethupathi. Sumathi. “Selective Catalytic Reduction of Nitric Oxide over Cerium-Doped Activated Carbons.” Journal of Environmental Chemical EngineeringVolume 3, Issue 4, Part A, December 2015, Pages 2502–2513, doi:10.1016/j.jece.2015.08.028http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213343715002419.

Hsu, Wei-Che; Rosenberger, Jay M.; Sule, Neelesh V.; Sattler, Melanie L.; Chen, Victoria C.P. .“Mixed Integer Linear Programming Models for Selecting Ground-Level Ozone Control Strategies”. Environmental Modeling & Assessment. Dec. 2014, Vol. 19, No. 6, pp. 503-514, doi: 10.1007/s10666-014-9408-4, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10666-014-9408-4 .

Eapi, Gautam; Sabnis, Madhu; Sattler, Melanie. “Mobile Measurement of Methane and Hydrogen Sulfide at Natural Gas Production Site Fence Lines in the Texas Barnett Shale.” Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, Vol. 64, No. 8, August 2014, pp. 927-944, doi:10.1080/10962247.2014.907098, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10962247.2014.907098 Top 10% of most cited articles per discipline and year, Web of Science

Other

Bhatt, Arpita; Priyadarshini, Sharon; Abri, Arash; Sattler, Melanie; Techapaphawit, Sorakrich. “Coal Fly Ash Properties: A Global Perspective.” Case Studies in Construction Materials. Vol. 11, Dec. 2019, doi: 10.1016/j.cscm.2019.e00263, available on-line 6/24/19, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cscm.2019.e00263 .

Rahman, Shammi; Sabnis, Madhu; Kuusisto, Lucina Marcia; Sattler, Melanie; Chen, Victoria. “Models for Organics Removal from Vinasse from Ethanol Production.” Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Vol. 20, No.4, pp. 803-812, April 2018, doi: 10.1007/s10098-018-1496-4, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10098-018-1496-4.

Bhatt, Arpita H.; Karanjekar, Richa V.; Altouqi, Said; Sattler, Melanie L.; Hossain, MD. Sahadat; Chen, Victoria C.P. “Estimating landfill leachate BOD and COD based on rainfall, ambient temperature, and waste composition: Exploration of a MARS statistical approach.” Environmental Technology & Innovation. Vol. 8, Nov. 2017, pp. 1-16, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eti.2017.03.003, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352186417300834 .

Bhatt, Arpita H.; Altouqi, Said; Karanjekar, Richa V.; Hossain, MD. Sahadat; Chen, Victoria C.P.; Sattler, Melanie L. “Modeling Rate Constants for Removal of BOD and COD from Landfill Leachate,” Environmental Technology & Innovation. Vol. 5, April 2016, pp. 188-198, doi:10.1016/j.eti.2016.02.002http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352186416300098.

Conference Presentations

Energy from Waste

Baniya, Sunita; Sattler, Melanie. “Economical Design of Cold-Resistant Biogas Digesters for Degrading Household Waste In Mountainous areas of Developing Countries.” Air & Waste Management Association 112th Annual Conference. Quebec City, Canada, June 2019.

Kuusisto, Marcia; Sattler, Melanie. “Predicting bioenergy potential from vinasse digestion: The VUMP Model (Vinasse Utilization for Methane Production).” Air & Waste Management Association 112th Annual Conference. Quebec City, Canada, June 2019.

Rahimi, Hoda; Sattler, Melanie. “Effect of Termite Hindgut Microbe TAV5 on Methane Production from Municipal Solid Waste Degradation.” Global Waste Management Symposium, Indian Wells, California, Feb. 2018.

Bhatt, Arpita; Sattler, Melanie. “Choosing the Right Landfill Gas Model for Your Project,” Poster presentation, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA’s) World Congress & WASTECON® 2017, Baltimore, MD, Sept. 2017.

Baniya, Sunita; Sattler, Melanie. “Comparison of Methane Production from Household Waste Using Pond Soil and Horse Dung as Microbial Inocula.” Extended abstract. Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 110th Annual Conference. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2017.

Rahimi, Hoda; Sattler, Melanie. ”Effect of termite gut microbe, TAV5 on methane production from municipal solid waste degradation.” Extended abstract, Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 109th Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA, June 2016. Received A&WMA Conference Young Professional Best Paper Award.

Sattler, Melanie L; Jangikhatoonabad, Neda; Afotey, Benjamin; Hossain, M. Sahadat. “Evaluation of Landfill Gas Recovery System: Case Study for a Ghana Landfill.” Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the Global Waste Management Symposium, Indian Wells, California, Jan. 31 – Feb. 3, 2016.

Karanjekar, Richa V.; Bhatt, Arpita; Altouqui, Said; Jangikhatoonabad , Neda; Durai , Vennila; Sattler, Melanie L.; Hossain, M.D. Sahadat. “Evaluation of the CLEEN (Capturing Landfill Emissions for Energy Needs) Model,” Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 108th Annual Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 2015.

Broun, Reza; Sattler, Melanie. “A comparison of greenhouse gas emissions and potential electricity generation from conventional and bioreactor landfills.” Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 108th Annual Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 2015.

Sattler, Melanie; Hossain, Sahadat; Durai, Vennila; Karanjekar, Richa; Bhatt, Arpita; Altouqi, Said. “Evaluation of the CLEEN (Capturing Landfill Emissions for Energy Needs) Model,” Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium, Crystal River, Florida, October 20-22, 2014.

Hossain, Sahadat; Durai, Vennila; Karanjekar, Richa; Bhatt, Arpita; Altouqi, Said; Sattler, Melanie. “Evaluation of the CLEEN (Capturing Landfill Emissions For Energy Needs) Model.” Proceedings of the International Solid Waste Association Conference Solid Waste World Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 8-11, 2014.

Landfill Studies (Non-Energy)

Radhakrishna Iyer, Gomathy; Sattler, Melanie. “Methane Oxidation Capacity of Un-composted Yard Waste and Other Waste Materials.” Global Waste Management Symposium, Indian Wells, California, Feb. 2018.

Parsaeifard, Niloofar; Sattler, Melanie. “Enhancing the Anaerobic Oxidation of Methane in Landfill Cover Soil.” Global Waste Management Symposium, Indian Wells, California, Feb. 2018.

Priyadarshini, Sharon; Bhatt, Arpita; Bondili, Laalithya; Shover, Paul; Homaei, Amin; Parsaeifard, Niloofar; Khalaj, Fatemeh; Sattler, Melanie. “Preliminary Investigation of Coal Class F Fly Ash as a Final Landfill Cover to Reduce Methane Emissions.” Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 109th Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA, June 2016.

Bhatt, Arpita H.; Altouqi, Said; Karanjekar, Richa V.; Hossain, M.D. Sahadat; Sattler, Melanie L. “Modeling Rate Constants for Removal of BOD and COD from Landfill Leachate.” Extended Abstract. Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association 108th Annual Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, June 2015.

Life Cycle Analysis

Scott Neumann, Shelia; Sattler, Melanie. “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) of Commercial Space Transportation (CST) Activities in the United States.” American Society of Civil Engineers, July 2019.

AlSaleh, Ali; Sattler, Melanie. “Life Cycle Assessment of Large Wind Turbines in the US: A Texas Case Study.” Accepted for the Air & Waste Management Association 112th Annual Conference. Quebec City, Canada, June 2019.

Hernandez-Ruiz, Alma; Sattler, Melanie. “The Urban Passenger Transportation LCA for Comparison Across Modes Model –TransportLifeCAMM.” Accepted for the Air & Waste Management Association 112th Annual Conference. Quebec City, Canada, June 2019.

Scott Neumann, Shelia; Sattler, Melanie. “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) of Commercial Space Transportation (CST) Activities in the United States.” National Defense Industrial Association Systems Engineering Conference, Tampa, Florida, October 2018.

Scott Neumann, Shelia; Sattler, Melanie. “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (ELCA) of Commercial Space Transportation (CST) Activities in the United States.” Partnership for Global Sustainability Conference, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, October 2018.

The Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Therapy Laboratory performs research with an emphasis on the investigation of the mechanisms governing immune responses to medical implants (also called as foreign body reactions).

By applying knowledge obtained from basic research work, Dr. Liping Tang and his group have launched studies to develop novel strategies for improving the safety of medical devices while developing new treatment strategies for a variety of diseases. The majority of the research is translational and interdisciplinary with broad impact on basic sciences, as well as medical and engineering research.

Dr. Tang has extensive experience working with both engineers and medical scientists. He has worked at UTA for the past 15 years. In addition, he worked at several medical schools (Baylor College of Medicine and Albany Medical College) for eight years before joining the joint graduate program between UTA and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he has also worked for the past 15 years. This interdisciplinary experience has allowed him to quickly identify potential engineering solutions for clinical challenges. His laboratory has a long history of collaborating with engineers and physicians and applying engineering knowledge to create novel solutions for various clinical challenges.

Personnel

Liping Tang, Ph.D., Lab Director

Research

The Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Therapy Laboratory has discovered and established many new technologies, including:

New therapy for combating metastasic cancer

Cancer metastasis is the major cause of cancer lethality. However, there is no specific treatment to reduce cancer metastasis. His group's recent studies have revealed that several chemokines are essential for cancer cell spreading. By incorporating these newly identified factors with scaffolds, Dr. Tang has invented a “cancer trap” implant that can recruit and eliminate circulating metastatic cancer cells in animals. This new invention has proven to be effective in extending the life-span of cancer bearing animals by at least 20%. This approach has shown to be effective in case of melanoma, leukemia and prostate cancer. The development of the cancer trap is currently funded by an Idea Development Award from the Department of Defense. A patent application and several international patent applications to cover this technology have been recently submitted and sponsored by UTA.

Novel microscaffolds for triggering autologous stem cell-derived tissue regeneration

Many diseases or injuries are often associated with or caused by the loss of tissues. Although tissue/organ transplantations can be done, availability of donated organs/tissuesis very limited. Tissue engineering technology has made great progress in recent years to regenerate body parts by isolating and then placing patients’ stem cells inside and around porous scaffolds (tissue constructs). The cell-seeded constructs are then grown in the bioreactors in the laboratory for a few weeks/months until transplantation into patients. The cell isolation, seeding, and culturing procedures are expensive and time consuming which severely limits the implementation of tissue engineering technology at the bedside. By integrating different stem cell factors inside the porous scaffolds, a new and patent-pending invention developed by his laboratory allows the production of cell-free scaffolds which can be placed at the diseased tissue to recruit and differentiate patients’ own stem cells and regenerate tissue at the diseased site. Dr. Tang has recently been awarded a million dollar grant by the Department of Defense to make use of this innovative technology to treat post-traumatic osteoarthritis in soldiers by using their own stem cells that would be recruited around a minimally invasive smart microscaffold injection.

New imaging tools

Almost all medical device developments rely on the use of animal models to assess immune reactions to implants which are expensive and time consuming. To overcome such challenges, Dr. Tang’s laboratory has recently invented a new imaging technology platform which permits a real time monitoring of foreign body reactions. This system will expedite the development of safe and effective medical implants. The contribution of this work is widely recognized. As a result of this recognition, he has been invited to present this work and to give keynote speeches at many international conferences, including the Society for Biomaterials, Biomedical Engineering Society, American Heart Association, and Meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Biomaterials. This work was supported by two NIH SBIR grants.