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Research Focus

The McNamara Research Group, directed by Assistant Professor Patrick McNamara, Ph.D., at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., focuses on understanding how chemicals from consumer products impact public health and the environment once they pass down the drain and through treatment plants.


Specifically, the research group is studying how these chemicals impact the engineering treatment processes that rely on healthy bacteria to treat water and is working to develop non-traditional treatment processes to remove these chemicals from water and mitigate their effects in the natural environment. Ultimately, by protecting environmental health, we can better protect public health.

Specific Research Interests

•    Understanding impact of consumer product chemicals on
      wastewater treatment bacteria.   

•    Removal of chemicals via drinking water or wastewater treatment

•    Environmental antibiotic resistant bacteria (superbugs)    

•    Beneficial biosolids reuse from wastewater treatment     

•    Pyrolysis — and soil amendment (Biochar)

Group News

Coming Oct 22-23, 2019 - Short Course on Emerging Contaminants in Water and Wastewater

Join us for an exciting lineup of national speakers to hear about updates on emerging contaminants in water and wastewater. The full detains for the course, including registration, are found at

September, 2017

Lee’s paper from his MS research “Biosolids Reuse: Biosolids-Derived Biochar for Triclosan Removal from Wastewater” is accepted in Environmental Engineering Science. Congratulations, Lee!

Yiran’s second paper from her PhD research “Fate and Impacts of Triclosan, Sulfamethoxazole, and 17β-Estradiol during Nutrient Recovery via Ion Exchange and Struvite Precipitation” is accepted in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. Congratulations, Yiran!

August, 2017

Emily Maher successfully defends her PhD proposal. Congratulations, Emily! This is a great milestone.

Dr. Zhongzhe Liu’s paper “Autocatalytic Pyrolysis of Wastewater Biosolids for Product Upgrading” is accepted into Environmental Science & Technology. Congratulations, Dr. Liu!

Donald Ryan joins the group as an MS student. Donald earned his BS from the University of Oklahoma. Welcome, Donald!






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