Joel Ducoste

Professor and Associate Dean for the Office of Faculty Development and Success

Dr. Joel Ducoste, Ph.D., BCEEM, F.WEF, is the Associate Dean for the Office of Faculty Development and Success in the College of Engineering and Professor in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department at North Carolina State University (NC State). He has more than 25 years of Environmental Engineering experience. Dr. Ducoste is a board certified environmental engineering member with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and is a recognized expert in modeling water and wastewater treatment processes using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). His current research interests include physico-chemical processes in water treatment, computational fluid dynamics modeling, water/wastewater process optimization, wastewater sewer collection system sustainability, renewable energy, plant biosystems engineering, solid waste process modeling, and disinfection of pathogenic aerosols. Dr. Ducoste has received a number of awards including: an NSF Career Award, a Fulbright fellowship, Visiting Professorships at Ghent University, South East University, and Yangzhou University, NC State mentoring awards, elected Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Association of the Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Distinguished service award, and most recently the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal WEF. Dr. Ducoste serves on the Editorial Advisory Board Member, Journal of Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, RSC, North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Advisory Board, and participates as a fellow in the NC Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program. He has served on EPA Science Advisory Boards (2009-2018) and the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors Safe and Sustainable Water Resources committee (2018-2022). He was also the 2020-2021 President of AEESP. Dr. Ducoste also spent 5 years in industry at CH2M Hill as a senior process engineer and as an advance-manufacturing engineer at GE Aircraft Engines.


Ph.D. 1996

Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

M.Eng 1989

Mechanical Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

B.S. 1988

Mechanical Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Research Description

Dr. Ducoste is interested in the operation, design, and optimization of drinking water and wastewater treatment processes. He achieves these goals by incorporating novel experimental techniques and validated numerical models in the analysis of unit processes. He has research experience in the operation and design of chemical mixing, flocculation, sedimentation, and chemical and UV disinfection processes in drinking water treatment. Dr. Ducoste is an expert in modeling water and wastewater treatment process fluid mechanics using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). He has developed CFD models for analysis of chemical and UV disinfection reactors, rapid mix chambers, flocculation basins, filtration systems, wastewater activated sludge systems, waste stabilization ponds, secondary clarifiers, and food waste systems. Dr Ducoste is also interested in modeling cellular regulatory and metabolic pathways and interfacing product formation to produce bioreactor models using CFD.


Fat, Oil, and Grease Sewer Waste Management System: A Modeling Platform for Simulating the Formation of FOG Deposits in Sewer Networks
Simmons, N. S., & Ducoste, J. J. (2024), JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, 150(4).
Measurement and Temperature Prediction from Ash Disposed in Landfills Using a Quasi-Adiabatic Flow Reactor
Narode, A., Hao, Z., Pourghaz, M., Ducoste, J. J., & Barlaz, M. A. (2024, May 13), ACS ES&T ENGINEERING, Vol. 5.
Microbial community assembly in engineered bioreactors
Smith, S. K., Weaver, J. E., Ducoste, J. J., & Iii, F. L. de los R. (2024), WATER RESEARCH, 255.
Biotransformation of micropollutants in moving bed biofilm reactors under heterotrophic and autotrophic conditions
Ahmadi, N., Abbasi, M., Torabian, A., Loosdrecht, M. C. M., & Ducoste, J. (2023), JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, 460.
Growth of Dunaliella viridis in multiple cycles of reclaimed media after repeated high pH-induced flocculation and harvesting
Lai, Y.-C., Ducoste, J. J., & de los Reyes III, F. L. (2023), SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 891.
Microplate-Based Cell Viability Assay as a Cost-Effective Alternative to Flow Cytometry for Microalgae Analysis
Wang, D., de los Reyes III, F. L., & Ducoste, J. J. (2023), ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 57(50), 21200–21211.
Quasi-Mechanistic 3D Finite Element Model Predicts Temperatures in a U.S. Landfill
Hao, Z., Barlaz, M. A., & Ducoste, J. J. (2023, November 28), ACS ES&T ENGINEERING, Vol. 11.
Effects of UV-C Disinfection on N95 and KN95 Filtering Facepiece Respirator Reuse
Bernardy, C., Elardo, N., Trautz, A., Malley, J., Wang, D., & Ducoste, J. (2022, September 21), APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Vol. 9.
AEESP Endured Despite a Challenging Year
Ducoste, J. J. (2021, September 1), ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE, Vol. 38, pp. 819–821.
AEESP: A Collective Force to Achieve Educational and Research Heights in Environmental Engineering and Science
Ducoste, J. J. (2021), Environmental Engineering Science, 38(1), 1–3.

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Development Of A Fast-open Source Model To Assess Heat Generation From Alternative Landfill Disposal Strategies
Environmental Research and Education Foundation(6/01/22 - 11/30/24)
Wolf Pack KEEN EM Annual Support Program 2022-2023
Kern Family Foundation(12/05/22 - 12/04/23)
TSA: UV Modeling of work space to simulate COVID virus reduction using Computational Fluid Dynamics
XCMR(3/01/22 - 5/31/23)
Development of Test Methods to Characterize Heat Production from Special Wastes Disposed in Landfills
Environmental Research and Education Foundation(9/01/18 - 12/31/22)
Using Microbial Ecology Theory to Understand Microbial Community Dynamics and Improve Function of Anaerobic Bioreactors
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/18 - 7/31/22)
Understanding The Fog Deposit Adhesion Mechanism On Different Sewer Line Surfaces
NCSU Water Resources Research Institute(3/01/20 - 12/31/21)
LSAMP BD: North Carolina State University Preparing Researchers of the Future (PROF) NC-LSAMP
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/18 - 6/30/21)
Collaborative Research: Modeling The Regulatory Network Of Inositol Phosphate Signaling In Plants.
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/16 - 6/30/21)
EFRI-PSBR:Closing the Loop- Towards a PSBR Design Framework for Self-Sustained Marine Microalgal-Based Fuel Production
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/13 - 8/31/19)
CREATIV Dynamic Regulatory Modeling of the Iron Deficiency Response in Arabidopsis thaliana
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/12 - 7/31/19)