Faculty Profile

BIOGRAPHY

  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 1985.
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 1982.
  • Diploma, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, 1974.

Dr. Spyros G. Pavlostathis is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. A recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, Dr. Pavlostathis completed his MS and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Cornell University after obtaining his Diploma in Agricultural Engineering at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer Member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), and a Fellow of International Water Association (IWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Dr. Pavlostathis is internationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering for the bioremediation of contaminated natural systems and the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater, as well as the kinetics, modeling, and simulation of bioprocesses. His research includes bioenergy and biofuels; bioavailability, fate and biotransformation of recalcitrant organic compounds; the biotransformation of emerging environmental contaminants; disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance; as well as microbial fuel cell and bioelectrochemical technology.

Dr. Pavlostathis has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and authored over 200 publications including books or book chapters. Dr. Pavlostathis has organized or chaired over 45 conferences and conference sessions and frequently serves as a consultant, invited speaker and panelist on behalf of city, county, state and federal agencies in the US and abroad. An active member of several professional organizations, Dr. Pavlostathis has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, Water Science & Technology (Guest Editor), Biotechnology Letters, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Water Environment Research, and Water Quality Research Journal.

Dr. Pavlostathis is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including: Greek National Scholarship Foundation; French Government Scholarship; Fulbright Scholarship; Kassimati Foundation Scholarship; Dutch National Science Foundation Fellowship; Water Environment Federation/Georgia Water & Pollution Control Association Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award; Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Best Paper Award; Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Sustained Research Award for Excellence in Environmental Research and Archival Publications; Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK; Marie Curie Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; the Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Georgia Institute of Technology, Outstanding Faculty Award; Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal, Water Environment Federation; Honorary Doctorate Degree, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece; Frederick George Pohland Medal, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists & Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors..

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Pavlostathis has been a dedicated educator of future environmental engineers, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Committed to the mission of teaching, he remains actively engaged in the development of curriculum and is involved in the advisement of both graduate and undergraduate engineering students. In recognition of his experience and high standing in the education of aspiring engineers he has been invited to give over 40 short courses and lectures both nationally and worldwide. He has served abroad as an evaluator of engineering curricula and programs, as well as an external thesis reviewer. Through his research activities, he has mentored 20 post-doctoral fellows and visiting scholars, 17 Ph.D. and 24 MS students, who have gone on to work in consulting, state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as academia, and provided many research opportunities for undergraduate students.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering for the bioremediation of contaminated natural systems and the treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater
  • Fate and biotransformation of recalcitrant organic compounds and emerging environmental contaminants
  • Disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance
  • Bioenergy and biofuels from biomass and waste streams
  • Microbial fuel cell and bioelectrochemical technology
  • Kinetics, modeling and simulation of biotransformation and biotreatment processes

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Frederick George Pohland Medal – American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists & Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (2019)
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece (2019)
  • Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (2017)
  • Guest Professor, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, P. R. China (2017-2019).
  • Water Environment Federation – Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal (2017)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Undergraduate Poster Award (A. Pan; 2017)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Graduate Poster Award (C. M. Dykstra; 2017)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (C. M. Dykstra; 2015)
  • Co-advisor, Sigma Xi Georgia Institute of Technology Chapter – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2015)
  • Co-advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Honorary Professorship in Innovative Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, Chinese Ministry of Education (111 Program); Tongji University, College of Environmental Science & Engineering, Shanghai, China (2014 – 2017).
  • Co-advisor, ACS/Division of Environmental Chemistry – Graduate Student Paper Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Co-advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (P. Sun; 2014)
  • Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Georgia Institute of Technology – Outstanding Faculty Award (2014)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering – Sustained Research Award (2013)
  • Fellow, Water Environment Federation (2011 Inaugural Recipient)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (T. Misiti; 2011)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – 3rd Place Poster Award (H. Giles; 2011)
  • Fellow, International Water Association (2010 Inaugural Recipient)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology/AEES Symposium – Best Poster Award (T. Misiti; 2010)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, AEES Symposium – Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (U. Tezel; 2009)
  • Georgia Association of Water Professionals - Nominated for the Water Environment Federation Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator (2009)
  • Marie Curie Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland (May 2009 - September 2009)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engeneering Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (D. Okutman-Tas; 2007)
  • American Academy of Environmental Engineers - Elected by Eminence as Board Certified Environmental Engineer (2006)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Best Ph.D. Thesis Award (Y.H. Lee; 2004)
  • Advisor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AEES) Best MS Thesis Award (W. Epolito; 2004)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology – President's Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award (2004)
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Environmental and Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, UK (Summers 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering - Sustained Research Award for Excellence in Environmental Research and Archival Publications (2001)
  • Dutch National Science Foundation, Wageningen University Sabbatical Fellowship (2000)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Best Paper Award (1997)
  • Water Environment Federation,Georgia Water & Pollution Control Association, Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award (1996)
  • Water Environment Federation - Charter Member, Recruiters Recognition Club (1994)
  • Chi Epsilon (National Civil Engineering Honor Society)
  • Kassimati Foundation Scholarship - Cornell University (1980 - 1982)
  • Fulbright Fellowship - Cornell University (1979 - 1981)
  • French Government Scholarship (1977)
  • Greek National Scholarship Foundation (1969 - 1973)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

ARTICLES
  • Zhai, S., M. Ji, S. G. Pavlostathis, and Y. Zhao*. 2019. Impact of Hydraulic Retention Time and Current on the Microbial Community and Denitrification Genes in a Continuous-flow Biofilm Electrode Reactor. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 94:933-941.
  • Zou, L., P. Shao, K. Zhang, L. Yang*, D. You, H. Shi, S. G. Pavlostathis, W. Lai, D. Liang, and X. Luo*. 2019. Tannic Acid-based Adsorbent with Superior Selectivity for Lead(II) capture: Adsorption Site and Selective Mechanism. Chemical Engineering Journal 364:160-166.
  • Yu, H., P. Shao, L. Fang, J. Pei, L. Ding, S. G. Pavlostathis, X. Luo.* 2019. Palladium Ion-Imprinted Polymers with PHEMA Polymer Brushes: Role of Grafting Polymerization Degree in Anti-Interference. Chemical Engineering Journal 359:176-185.
  • Cheng, C., X. Shen, H. Xie, Z. Hua, S. G. Pavlostathis, and J. Zhang. 2019. Coupled Methane and Nitrous Oxide Biotransformation in Freshwater Wetland Sediment Microcosms. Science of the Total Environment 648:916-922.
  • Borole, A. P.,* C. Tsouris, S. G. Pavlostathis, S. Yiacoumi, A. Lewis, X. Zeng, and K. Park. 2018. Efficient Conversion of Aqueous-Waste-Carbon Compounds into Electrons, Hydrogen, and Chemicals via Separations and Microbial Electrocatalysis. Frontiers in Energy Research 6:94.
BOOKS
  • Tezel U., and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2012. The Role of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds on Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment. In Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment, P. L. Keen and M. H. M. M. Montforts (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.
  • Pavlostathis, S. G. 2011. Kinetics and Modeling of Anaerobic Treatment and Biotransformation Processes. In Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Edition, M. Moo-Young (Editor-in-Chief); Volume 6: Environmental Biotechnology and Safety, S. Agathos (Ed.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Tezel, U., M. Tandukar, and S. G. Pavlostathis. 2011. Anaerobic Biotreatment of Municipal Sewage Sludge. In Comprehensive Biotechnology, 2nd Edition, M. Moo-Young (Editor-in-Chief); Volume 6: Environmental Biotechnology and Safety, S. Agathos (Ed.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Tandukar, M., S. G. Pavlostathis, and F. J. Cervantes. 2009. Autotrophic Denitrification for the Removal of Nitrogenous and Sulphurous Contaminants from Wastewaters. In Environmental Technologies to Treat Nitrogen Pollution: Principles and Engineering, F. J. Cervantes (Ed.). Ch. 12, IWA Publishing, London, UK.
  • Cervantes, F. J., S. G. Pavlostathis, and A. van Haandel (Eds). 2006. Advanced Biological Treatment for Industrial Wastewaters: Principles & Applications, IWA Publishing, London, UK.
PROCEEDINGS
  • Pavlostathis, S. G.* Fate and Effect of Sanitation Chemicals in Poultry Processing Wastewater Biological Treatment Systems. AGRO’2019-10th IWA International Symposium on Waste Management Problems in Agro-Industries, Rhodes, Greece, June 2019 (Keynote).
  • Shimada, T., W. Collins, S. G. Pavlostathis and R. Kilian. Higher Biogas Production and Enhanced Nutrient Removal Performance through Industrial Waste Receiving. 91st Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC 2018), New Orleans, LA, October 2018.
  • Dykstra, C. M., C. Cheng and S. G. Pavlostathis. Bioelectrochemical Systems for Anaerobic Digester Biogas Upgrading. NAXOS 2018-6th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management, Naxos, Greece, June 2018.
  • Pavlostathis, S. G. Bioelectrochemical Upgrading of Anaerobic Digester Biogas. NAXOS 2018-6th International Conference on Sustainable Solid Waste Management, Naxos, Greece, June 2018 (Keynote).
  • Barksdale, J., S. G. Pavlostathis, N. Johnson and D. Shaw. Bench Scale Evaluation of Municipal Sludge and High-Strength Wastes for Co-Digestion. WEF Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2018, Phoenix, AZ, May 2018.
PRESENTATIONS
  • Pavlostathis, S. G.* Bioelectrochemical Systems for Carbon-Neutral Biofuel and Bioenergy Production. MikroBioKosmos 8, Rio, Patras, Greece, April 2019 (Keynote).
  • Chen, J.*, D.-H. Lin, and S. G. Pavlostathis. Peracetic Acid Demand and Decay Kinetics in Poultry Processing Wastewater. Industrial Conference & Expo, Georgia Association of Water Professionals, Athens Classic Center, Athens, GA, March 2019.
  • Pavlostathis, S. G.* Fate and Effect of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds and Peracetic Acid Solutions on Protein Industry Wastewater Biological Treatment Processes. International Production & Processing Expo Conference – Session: Environmental Conference for the Meat and Poultry Industry, Atlanta, GA, February 2019.
  • Chen, J., D.-H. Lin, and S. G. Pavlostathis.* Fate and Transport of PAA in Wastewater Treatment Unit Operations. International Production & Processing Expo Conference – Session: Wastewater Treatment Challenges for the Poultry and Egg Industry, Atlanta, GA, February 2019.
  • Pavlostathis, S. G*. Bioelectrochemical Systems for Carbon-Neutral Biofuel and Bioenergy Production. The 1st International Symposium on New Materials and Technologies for Wastewater Treatment, Nanchang Hangkong University, Nanchang, P.R. China, December 2018 (Invited Speaker).