Franco Montalto P.E. Ph.D.Civil/Environmental Engineer and Hydrologist

Dr. Montalto is a civil engineer interested in the development of ecologically, economically, and socially sensible solutions to urban environmental problems, with a focus on sustainable water resources engineering and climate change. His ~25 years of experience have included research and design of a variety of nature-based solutions involving ecological restoration of degraded landscapes, the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater and stormwater treatment, as well as work with “green infrastructure” and “low impact development” technologies as a means of managing urban runoff while promoting urban sustainability and resilience. He is currently a Full Professor at Drexel University, where he directs the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Lab. He is also the Founder and President of eDesign Dynamics LLC, an environmental consulting firm based in New York City, with an international portfolio of projects. He is also a co-Investigator for the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program-funded Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), serves as the Director of the North American Hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), and in June of 2020 was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as a Member of the 4th New York City Panel on Climate Change. Previously, he served as a Research Fellow at The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and a Fulbright Scholar in Venice, Italy. His degrees are from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and Cornell University. Dr. Montalto is a licensed engineer in New York (#090284), Pennsylvania (#PE080773), New Jersey (#24GE05353000), Connecticut (#PEN.0030533), Florida (#90024), and Puerto Rico (#28178).

Current Research Scientists and Post Docs

Dr. Bita Alizadehtazi | Senior Research Scientist
Contact:  bita[AT]
Home City: Tehran, Iran
PhD: Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
MS: Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
BS: Shahid Beheshti University, Iran
AS: Iran University of Medical Sciences, Iran
Research Interests: Green infrastructure design and low impact development, Sustainable water resources planning and management, Urban hydrology
Dr. Hasseb Payab | Research Scientist
Contact:  ahp73[AT]
Home City: Kabul, Afghanistan
PhD: Civil Engineering (Specializing in Water Resources Management and Hydraulics), Eastern Mediterranean University
MS: Civil Engineering (Specializing in Construction Technology and Management), Eastern Mediterranean University
BS: Civil Engineering, Eastern Mediterranean University
Research Interests: Sustainable water resources management, environmental management and conservation, climate change, water-food-energy nexus, hydrological and hydro-economic modeling, green infrastructure, and nature-based solutions.
Dr. Matina Shakya | Research Scientist
Contact:  ms5584[AT]
Home City: Lalitpur, Nepal
PhD: Civil Engineering, Villanova University
MS: Civil Engineering, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
B.Tech.: Environmental Engineering, Kathmandu University
Research Interests: soil moisture, green stormwater infrastructure, stormwater management

Current Doctoral Students

Mobin Rahimi Golkhandan | PhD Student
Contact: mr3596[AT]
Home City: Mashhad, Iran
M.Sc.: Environmental Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
B.Sc.: Civil Engineering, IAUM, Iran
Research Interests: Sustainability, Water Resources Mangement, Data Analysis
Fatemeh Nasrollahi | PhD Student
Contact: fn72[AT]
Home City: Tehran, Iran
MA: George Washington Univerisity, Washington D.C.
MArch: Univeristy of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
BArch: Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
Research Interests: Resilient urban environment, flood mitigation strategies, climate change scenarios
Nirajan Adhikari | PhD Student
Contact: na943[AT]
Home City: Kathmandu, Nepal
MS: MS: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE)- Specialization in Water Resources Engineering
BE: Civil Engineering, Kathmandu Engineering College, Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Research Interests: Hydrological and Hydraulic modeling and Watershed Analysis, Climate Change

Current BS/MS Students

Alyssa Kemp | BS/MS Student
Contact: ak2846[AT]
Home City: Cavalier, NC
BS/MS: Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
Research Interests: Climate resilient design, community-based participatory research, equitable climate policies, and urban planning
Samantha Seiden | BS/MS Student
Contact: sps322[AT]
Home City: Doylestown, PA
BS/MS: Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: Water resources, green stormwater infrastructure, climate resiliency, climate policy/social justice

Field & Lab Staff

Nikki Pearl | Lab Manager
Contact: np868[AT]
Home City: St. Louis, MO
MSW: Policy, Planning, and Administration, University of Missouri
: Psychology, Bradley University
Research Interests: Environmental justice, equitable implementation of climate solutions, community-driven engagement and outreach

Previous Lab Members