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. His ~20 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 an Associate 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 also serves as the Director of the North American Hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN). 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), and Connecticut (#PEN.0030533).

Current Research Scientists and Post Docs

Dr. Bita Alizadehtazi | 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. Leena ShevadeResearch Scientist
Contact: ljs332[AT]
Home City: Mumbai, India
PhD: Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
M. Engineering: V.J.T.I., Mumbai, India
Research Interests: Green Infrastructure, sustainable wastewater management

Current Doctoral Students

Karly Soldner | PhD Student
Contact: kms487[AT]
Home City: Lancaster, PA
BS: Drexel Univerity
Research Interests: Performance and monitoring of green stormwater infrastructure, sustainable and smart cities
Walter YerkPhD Candidate
Contact: wgy23[AT]
Home City: Moscow, Russia
BS/MS: Moscow State University, Russia
Research Interests: Urban hydrology, canopy rainfall interception, distributed hydrological models, urban boundary layer, impacts of climate variability on hydrology and water resources

Current Masters Students

Madeleine Pelchat | Masters Student
Contact: mjp437[AT]
Home City: Wynnewood, PA
BS/MS: Drexel University
Research Interests: Sustainable Water Resources/Wastewater Management, Renewable Energy, Climate Policy
Joseph McGovern | Masters Student
Contact: jm4277[AT]
Home City: Philadelphia, PA
BS: Civil Engineering, Temple University
Research Interests: Sustainable and Resilient Design and Design Practice, Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Regulatory Compliance

Field & Lab Staff

Anna Gussenhoven | Co-op Student
Contact:  ag3753[AT]
Home City: New Rochelle, NY
BS: Civil Engineering, Drexel Univerity (IP)
Research Interests: Green infrastructure, low impact development, climate change planning, and crisis management
Julian Stolper | Field Engineer
Contact:  js4724[AT]
Home City: Walpole, NH
BS: Physics, Bates College
Research Interests: Sustainable development and green infrastructure, renewable energy, instrumentation, data science
Korin Tangtrakul | Sustainability Manager
Contact: krt73[AT]
Home City: Ringoes, NJ
MS: Pratt Institute
: Temple University
Research Interests: Co-benefits of green infrastructure, mapping & GIS, community-led planning

Full List of Alumni

 # Last First Type Title Year
1 Yu Ziwen MS No Thesis Published 2010
2 Berg Stuart MS No Thesis Published 2010
3 Goldstein Alisha MS Comparison of a High and Low Spatial Resolution Model for an Urban Block and Implications for Depicting Low Impact Development 2011
4 Alizadehtazi Bita MS Relationship between Land Cover and Infiltration Rates in Urban Landscapes 2012
5 Jeffers Scott MS Characterization of the rainfall-runoff response of an urban combined sewer catchment using observed and analytical methods 2012
6 Rostad Nathan MS Harvesting rooftop runoff to flush toilets: Drawing conclusions from four major U.S. cities 2012
7 White Stephen MS No Thesis Published 2012
8 Sunder Ajay MS Implementation of a non-parametric rainfall simulation method to size rainwater harvesting systems for stormwater management and irrigation of urban agricultural facilities 2012
9 DiGiovanni Kimberly PhD Evapotranspiration from urban green spaces in a Northeast United States City 2013
10 Chen Wei MS Monitoring and modeling of the hydrologic performance of the Carroll Street Right-of-Way Bioswale 2014
11 Miller Stephanie MS Evapotranspiration Potential of Green Infrastructure Vegetation 2014
12 Stammermann Ramona PhD Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport Studies in Tidal Marshes of the Delaware Bay using High Resolution Numerical Models 2014
13 Feldman Andrew MS Green Infrastructure in Urban Parks for Stormwater Management 2015
14 Catalano de Sousa Maria Raquel PhD Assessing green infrastructure as an effective strategy to help cities to build resilience to climate change 2015
15 Kidd Griffin MS Changing Climate in Philadelphia: Expert Elicitation of Climate Risks and Recommendations 2015
16 Pu Ge MS Developing a Modeling Framework for Nonstationary Urban Hydraulic Analyses 2015
17 Yu Ziwen PhD Assessment of the physical, socioeconomic and climatic constraints on green infrastructure 2015
18 Frazier Lindsay MS The Effects of Water Table, Hydraulic Loading Ratio, and Climate Change on Constructed Wetland Stormwater Capture Performance 2016
19 Pronchik Emily MS The Use of a Green Infrastructure Treatment Train to Capture Street Runoff : Monitored and Modeled Stormwater Capture Performance of a Three Bed Right-Of-Way Bioretention Facility 2016
20 Rakestraw Emma MS Quantification of Stemflow in Three Isolated Shrub Species in an Urban Environment 2016
21 Jeffers Scott PhD Using Fractal Geometries to Understand Urban Drainage Networks and Green Stormwater Infrastructure Development 2017
22 Miller Stephanie PhD Using Multifunctional Green Infrastructure to Address Resilience in Cities 2017
23 Alizadehtazi Bita PhD The Evolution and Significance of Soil, Soil Surface, and Soil Moisture in the Ecohydrology of Engineered Urban Green Spaces 2017
24 Smalls-Mantey Lauren PhD The Potential Role of Green Infrastructure in the Mitigation of the Urban Heat Island 2017
25 Lempitsky Ian MS Effectiveness of Coastal Green Infrastructure Under Compound Events Due to Climate Change 2018
26 Campellone Sabatino PhD An Investigation into the Factors Affecting Street Tree Rainfall Interception 2018
27 Johnson Katelyn MS Investigating the Influence of Precipitation Patterns and Soil Composition on Soil Moisture Retention in Physical Models of Green Stormwater Infrastructure 2018
28 Soldner Karly MS Real-Time Remote Soil Moisture Monitoring for Rain Garden Irrigation Efficiency with a Low-Cost Cloud-Connected Datalogger 2019
29 Shevade Leena PhD Predicting Street Scape Green Infrastructure Amidst Uncertain Flow 2020
30 Abualfaraj Noura Postdoc supervised 2017- 2018
31 Foti Romano Postdoc supervised 2014-2015