Dr. Francis L. de los Reyes III

Dr. de los Reyes is Glenn E. and Phyllis J. Futrell Distinguished Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, University Faculty Scholar, Associate Faculty of Microbiology, and Training Faculty of Biotechnology at North Carolina State University. He has been teaching and doing research on wastewater engineering for 25 years. For the past 20 years, he has been teaching undergraduate and graduate classes on drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment plant design, environmental microbiology, environmental biotechnology, and water and sanitation in developing countries. His research focuses on biological processes and combines modeling, bioreactor experiments, and molecular microbial ecology tools in addressing fundamental and practical issues in environmental biotechnology and environmental engineering. He has also worked in water and sanitation issues in developing countries, and has current or past collaborations in the Philippines, India, China, South Africa, Malawi, Belgium, Pakistan, Rwanda, Madagascar, Kenya, and Ghana.

He is a TED Fellow (www.ted.com), and his talk on “Sanitation is a Basic Human Right”, was published online at ted.com (http://www.ted.com/talks/francis_de_los_reyes_sanitation_is_a_basic_human_right) and has been viewed over 800,000 times.

Current and past research projects (funding of ~ $9 M in last 20 years) include: molecular analysis and modeling of the competition between filaments and floc-formers in activated sludge (National Science Foundation), ecophysiology of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in microbial floc (NSF), swine waste treatment system for nitrogen removal (US Department of Agriculture), fate of bioagents in landfills (EPA), microbial characterization of landfills (Waste Management, Inc.), molecular techniques for groundwater remediation sites (US DOE/DOD), foam control methods (Hazen and Sawyer), detecting environmentally versatile Bacillus strains (Novozymes Biochemicals, Inc.), sludge dewatering (NC WRRI), grease interceptors (CSPA), system-wide optimization of wastewater treatment plants using genetic algorithms, factors affecting fats, oils, and grease deposits in sewers (WRRI), wastewater treatment for rural areas (NC Rural Center), water reuse systems, novel techniques for detecting denitrifiers (NSF), aerobic granulation (NSF), anaerobic co-digestion (WRRI, NSF, EREF), photosynthetic bioreactors for energy (NSF), and sanitation technologies (Gates Foundation).

He has been a consultant for industry, engineering firms, and public utilities on activated sludge operation, solids separation problems, and molecular microbiology techniques. He was consultant for Procter and Gamble (US), RTI (US), CH2M-Hill (US), Manila Water Co. (Philippines), Department of Science and Technology (Philippines), Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences (China), CH2M-Hill (US), Sybron Chemicals (US), BioAir Solutions (US) and many cities in North Carolina, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He has conducted workshops for wastewater treatment plant operators and professionals in North Carolina, Ohio, and in the Philippines.

He received his BS in Agricultural Engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos in 1990 (finishing in 4 years), MS in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University in 1994, and PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. He is a current/past member of the Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association, American Society for Microbiology, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, International Water Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering, International Society for Microbial Ecology, Phi Kappa Phi, and Gamma Sigma Delta. Dr. de los Reyes was Associate Editor of the journal Water Research (International Water Association), and the Journal of Environmental Engineering (ASCE), and is currently on the Editorial Board of and Philippine Science Letters. He is Past President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering.

He is on the Board of Gawad Kalinga USA (GK-USA) and was the North Carolina Coordinator (2006-2018) of the non-profit movement with the aim of transforming slums in developing countries to colorful villages. As leader of about 60 volunteers in the area, he has coordinated efforts to establish 3 villages in the Philippines, helping to rebuild the lives of 90 families. Gawad Kalinga has built over 200,000 houses in the Philippines for the poorest of the poor, and the model has been copied in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Africa. He has spent time in the Philippines to do builds, has led NC and other US-based groups in builds, and worked with the environmental arm of GK to assess water quality in GK villages. As part of his leadership in fund-raising for GK, he has run two marathons and organized GK Run Teams.