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Niveen Ismail

Associate Professor of Engineering

Niveen Ismail


Ford Hall 012


Niveen Ismail is an environmental engineer interested in using natural systems to improve water quality through removal of contaminants including trace organic and microbial pollutants. She is passionate about engaging the community and integrating ecological rehabilitation when considering engineering solutions to water quality issues. She also believes it is important to get students involved early in both research and outreach activities, often integrating aspects of both in the courses she teaches.

Ismail took a position with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering and spent five years working in the areas of fuel formulation, high throughput experimentation, and refinery process optimization. After her time at ExxonMobil, she returned to academia. In 2010 she partnered with the Philadelphia Zoo and Wetlands Institute (NJ) to complete her thesis examining the bioaccumulation and transfer of legacy pollutants in diamondback terrapins, a locally threatened turtle species. She obtained her master’s (2011) and doctoral degrees (2015) focusing on using bivalves for improving the water quality of two local impaired water bodies. During her doctoral work, she partnered with many organizations, including the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service.

Selected Publications

Ismail, N.S., H. Dodd, L. M. Sassoubre, A. J. Horne, A. B. Boehm, R. G. Luthy. “Improvement of urban lake water quality by removal of Escherichia coli through the reintroduction of the bivalve Anodonta californiensis,Environmental Science and Technology, 2015, 49(3), pp 1664-1672.

Ismail, N.S., C. E. Müller, R. R. Morgan, R. G. Luthy. “Uptake of contaminants of emerging concern by the bivalves Anodonta californiensis and Corbicula fluminea,Environmental Science and Technology, 2014, 48(16), pp 9211-9219.

Jasper, J., M. Nguyen, Z. Jones, N. Ismail, D. Sedlak, J. Sharpe, R.G. Luthy, A. Horne, K. Nelson. “Unit process wetlands for treatment of municipal wastewater effluent,” Environmental Engineering Science, 2013, 30(8), pp 421-436.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient
  • Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Recipient
  • EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship Awardee
  • McNair Research Scholar


Ph.D., Stanford University
M.S., Temple University
B.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology

The Ismail Lab

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks