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Department of
Environmental Health
& Engineering

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, a dynamic collective of promising students, future leaders of environmental health and engineering, world-renowned faculty and researchers, and extraordinary staff.

This is a remarkable time to be a part of our unique and evolving department, which brings together leading faculty in the physical sciences, health sciences, economics, engineering and policy fields to develop creative and interdisciplinary approaches to tackling the numerous environmental challenges facing us in the 21st century.

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, Chair,
Environmental Health and Engineering,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
and Whiting School of Engineering

Daily, we encounter environmental problems—air pollution, the scarcity of clean water, the changing climate and ecosystem, and food and soil contamination—that threaten the sustainability of the planet and the population. Our new department will both study and help find solutions to these problems. 

Abel Wolman, known as the father of sanitary engineering, set in motion a legacy that has come full circle with the formation of this new department. He combined engineering with public health and hygiene, ultimately developing globally implemented procedures for water and sewage chlorination and disinfection, and influencing federal policy concerning water pollution control and management. His integrative approach to solving environmental challenges continues to resonate today.

Some of our faculty and students focus on sustainable water resources, the built environment, energy and ecosystems, and economics and policy; others on the molecular aspects of environmentally related diseases. Our environmental epidemiology, toxicology and exposure sciences programs strive to understand the effects of human exposure to harmful substances in the environment and to elucidate how these exposures contribute to disease. By bringing engineering’s quantitative, data-driven approaches to problems at the interface of engineering and public health, we will develop new systems, technologies and policies to mitigate environmental threats on a global scale. It is this rich diversity that provides us with collaborative opportunities to develop creative technical and policy solutions to solve complex environmental problems and protect the health of humans, as well as to ensure the sustainability of the planet.

Our commitment to the education and training of public health professionals and environmental engineers is more robust than ever. Through our innovative, interdisciplinary curricula, strong mentoring programs and cutting-edge research, we will continue to prepare future engineering professionals, academicians, and public health researchers and practitioners to meet the constantly evolving and emerging environmental health challenges.

I invite you to explore the many possibilities offered by Environmental Health and Engineering. We welcome all who want to protect the health of humans and the world we live in.

Thank you for your interest in our dynamic department.

— Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD, Chair,
Environmental Health and Engineering,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
and Whiting School of Engineering