Lucia Rodriguez-Freire
Assistant Professor, Laboratory Director

Dr. Rodriguez-Freire is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Engineering at the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NJIT. Lucia’s Laboratory of Applied Biogeochemistry for Environmental Sustainability investigates the mechanisms of interaction between biological and inorganic systems to remediate contaminated sites while recovering valuable materials using ubiquitous and low-value materials. In particular, Lucia collaborates with various communities impacted by abandoned mines, some now declared Superfund sites (Navajo Nation, Pueblo de Laguna, Crow, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe). Lucia earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and she has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arizona. She also did two postdoctoral works, one at the University of Arizona, investigating the sonochemical degradation of persistent contaminants, and another at the University of New Mexico, studying the fate and transport of radionuclides in the environment.

Bo Deng
Ph.D. Student

My name is Bo Deng and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I obtained my Master in Chemical Engineering of NJIT and Bachelor in Polymer materials Engineering of Shenzhen University. Which quite provide me with a solid background in Chemistry and Materials. Currently, I am working under the advice of Prof. Rodriguez-Freire. In our research project, we are investigating the use of bio-synthetic membranes, which can be functionalized with specific proteins, for the selective removal and recovery of valuable metals from industrial wastewater. It is a jumpstart on this filed which is not only removal harmful metal from the wastewater but also recycle it. For those research that we cannot only just stay in lab doing experiment but also need to go around and on-site investigation. We go to the little falls or little stream sometimes to sampling. I really enjoy such a multivariate realistic research that is closed to our real life. 

Boran Wang
Ph.D. Student

Boran Wang joined NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) as a Ph.D. student in Fall 2018. She received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2013, and an M.S. from New York University in Environmental Engineering in 2015. She is interested in environmental and urban sustainability, and her research will aim to remove contaminants from water and sediments by high-efficient and sustainable biogeochemical technologies. In her spare time, she loves cooking and practicing yoga. 


Maedeh Soleimanifar
Ph.D. Student

Maedeh Soleimanifar, a PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology, born in 1987, Rasht, Iran. Her current research is on the project entitled “Biorecovery of rare earth elements from mine wastes” under supervision of Dr. Lucia Rodriguez-Freire. Her research goals aim to remediate contaminated sites while recovering valuable metals from the Uranium mine wastes. Her interest in water and wastewater quality goes back to years ago, when she was an undergraduate student in Agricultural-Water Engineering at the University of Guilan, Iran in 2006. Her thesis was on the Nitrate contamination of water sources in paddy fields. After graduation, she continued working in her advisor's laboratory, as a teaching and research assistant. Later in 2014, she joined Dr. Miraalami’s Life Science Laboratory in Iran as a laboratory specialist to analyze water and wastewater from residential and industrial sources. In Spring 2015, she started her Master’s in Environmental Engineering at NJIT. After one year, she joined Dr. Michel Boufadel’s center “Natural Resources Development and Protection (NRDP) Center-NJIT” as a research assistant, where she worked investigating formation of Oil-particle Aggregates and biodegradation rate of crude oil. In Fall 2016, she started the PhD program in Environmental Engineering at NJIT and currently working in Dr. Lucia Rodriguez-Freire ‘s research group. Her other interests are swimming, camping, writing short stories and theater.