Sustainable Engineering Research Laboratory (SERL)
Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Laboratory (GAGEL)


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Professor Krishna Reddy was the Chair of GeoChicago2016: Sustainability, Energy, and Geoenvironment, organized by the ASCE, during August 14-18, 2016 in Chicago. Read summary and view photos here.

2016 Keynote Presentations
by Prof. Reddy


Ongoing research in the Sustainable Engineering Research Laboratory (SERL) and the Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering Laboratory (GAGEL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is focused on addressing the trending challenges in the development of sustainable urban infrastructure and environment by intersecting knowledge from the emerging areas of sustainability, resiliency, infrastructure, water, energy and environment. We have continually demonstrated a high level of technical excellence and quality in research through the development of innovative, pragmatic approaches that have been widely recognized and adopted for use. Innovative approaches include the sustainability assessment frameworks that include environmental, economic and social dimensions (triple bottom line) and their applications to assess and design urban civil infrastructure (e.g., building materials, foundations, retaining structures, and bridges) as well as develop urban environmental restoration strategies (waste management, stormwater management/treatment, bioreactor landfills and biocovers, brownfield remediation). We have developed the Social Sustainability Evaluation Matrix (SSEM) to quantify social aspects initially in environmental remediation projects and subsequently in various civil infrastructure engineering projects.

Being in Chicago, we are uniquely positioned to recognize the importance and pursue research on sustainability in urban infrastructure and environmental protection. We have used life cycle assessment and economic cost-benefit analyses to seek viable solutions to promote sustainable urban development. Operation of efficient energy systems with the lowest environmental footprint is the key to mitigating climate change. Energy consumption and embodied energy and water footprint are being quantified and extensively addressed in our projects. The benefits and environmental implications of renewable energy sources (e.g., geothermal systems) are also being explored. We have evaluated the performance of two geothermal systems implemented on our campus, and we have also evaluated the feasibility of using energy foundations for the new buildings that are being proposed on our campus.

Several major grants have been received from the US National Science Foundation and the US Environmental Protection Agency to address some of the new and emerging urban cities issues such as infrastructure rehabilitation, waste management and environmental remediation. Our research has helped develop recommendations for the use of sustainable construction materials, design and operation of sustainable bioreactor landfills and landfill covers, and selection and implementation of green and sustainable contaminated site remediation technologies. For example, under the project funded by the USEPA, we have developed green stormwater infrastructure (consisting of underground reactive permeable filter system) at Rainbow Beach in Chicago to address the problem of urban stormwater runoff containing mixed pollutants. Under the project funded by the NSF, we have developed a biochar-based biocover cover system that can mitigate fugitive emissions, especially methane at landfills. Similarly, under another project funded by the NSF, we have assessed the overall performance of bioreactor landfills based on long-term field monitoring and mathematical modeling studies that consider design and optimization of different leachate recirculation systems, and predict undergoing coupled hydro-thermo-bio-mechanical interactions.

Many other projects are in progress or being planned that are focused on:  

  • Sustainable and Resilient Civil Infrastructure

  • Global Climate Change and Geo-hazards Impacts and Mitigation

  • Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainable Engineering

  • Renewable Energy and Infrastructure

  • Green and Sustainable Environmental Remediation Technologies

  • Fate, Transport and Risk of Contaminant Mixtures

  • Soil, Sediment, Groundwater and Stormwater Remediation

  • Environmental Nanotechnology

  • Integrated Electrochemical and Electrokinetic Remediation

  • Integrated Biotechnologies

  • Sustainable Waste Management

  • Waste Containment, including Bioreactor Landfills and Biocovers

  • Engineering Applications of Waste/Recycled Materials

We are still facing numerous sustainability issues in urban environments such as, Chicago. Many issues such as sustainability, infrastructure, energy, water, and environment can only be solved by holistic, multi-disciplinary approaches. Many challenges and opportunities are ahead of us, and our ongoing focused efforts are invaluable in true sustainability sense, i.e. preserving this planet for future generations.

Thumbnail exampleWe have state-of-the-art facilities and skilled personnel to conduct laboratory investigations, field survey, and mathematical modeling/simulations. Please explore this website and contact us if you have any questions or need any additional information.

Krishna R. Reddy, PhD, PE, DGE, BCEE, FASCE, ENV SP
Professor and Lab Director

For additional information, see:
Professor Reddy's page
Professor Reddy's Curriculum Vitae [pdf]