Shirley Clark, Ph.D., P.E., DWRE

Acting Director, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Professor of Environmental Engineering, School of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Olmsted Building, W215

Shirley E Clark, Ph.D., P.E., D. WRE, ENV SP, F. EWRI, is a Professor of Environmental Engineering and Chair of the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering program. Her research and teaching interests are at the intersection of water, climate, and public health.

Dr. Clark’s research focuses on the “wicked” challenge that society faces with the stress of urban growth and decaying infrastructure intersecting with climate change and vulnerable communities. She started her research career in the area of optimizing urban stormwater treatment devices to protect receiving water from the myriad of stormwater pollutants, including solids, oils, metals, nutrients, and bacteria. As climate change has produced more intense storms and longer dry periods between storms, her research has expanded to address the impacts of these changing water regimes on pollutant capture and retention in filtration-based systems.

Since 2017, Dr. Clark’s research group has expanded to address pluvial (rainfall-induced) flooding in urban areas, especially as a result of high-intensity, short-duration storms. This flooding often results in very localized damage and rarely rises to the level of a declared disaster. However, it has major impacts on the residents and municipalities where it occurs. Dr. Clark is coordinating multidisciplinary teams to address the engineering and human health impacts of these storms and their aftermath. Her research focuses on the impacts of development choices on the volume of floodwater generated, including the impact of shallow compaction layers in the soil profile.

The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity for Dr. Clark to join Penn State’s COVID in wastewater team and explore the linkages between wastewater concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 (and now influenza) and case reports.

Professionally, Dr. Clark has been active in multiple professional societies and on various advisory committees. On October 1, 2023, she will assume the office of President of ASCE’s Environment and Water Resources Institute. She currently is Vice-President of the Central PA Chapter of ASCE. She has served on and led various committees in EWRI, including chairing the Urban Water Resources Research Council (UWRRC) and the Technical Activities Executive Committee of the Governing Board. She was recently appointed to the ASCE-NOAA Task Force. She also serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Resources Advisory Committee and on the Chesapeake Bay Science and Technical Advisory Committee. She has served on a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Committee on “Improving the Next-Generation EPA Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges.”

  • Sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure
  • Soil compaction and flooding
  • Community resilience to pluvial flooding, including the development of engineering measures to alleviate the impacts of flooding
  • Improving the design of stormwater control measures to retain pollutants during flash floods and flash droughts
  • Impact of public health interventions on SARS-CoV-2 and influenza in wastewater

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on pharmaceuticals in wastewater treated for beneficial reuse: Two case studies in central Pennsylvania. Hayden, K. R., Jones, M., Elkin, K. R., Shreve, M. J., Clees, W. I., Clark, S., Mashtare, M. L., Veith, T. L., Elliott, H. A., Watson, J. E., Silverman, J., Richard, T. L., Read, A. F. & Preisendanz, H. E., Sep 1 2022, In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 51, 5, p. 1066-1082 17 p.

Laboratory Media Test Comparisons to Long-Term Performance of Biofilter and Media Filter Treatment-Train Stormwater Controls. Pitt, R., Otto, M., Questad, A., Isaac, S., Colyar, M., Steets, B., Gearheart, R., Jones, J., Josselyn, M., Stenstrom, M. K., Clark, S. & Wokurka, J., Nov 1 2021, In: Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. 7, 4, 04021015.

Stormwater Biofilter Media Performance Updates for WinSLAMM: Data Summary for Unit Process Components, Example Calculations and Model Use. Pitt, R., Clark, S. E., Sileshi, R. & Voorhees, J., 2021, In: Journal of Water Management Modeling. 29, C477.

Removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions using carbonised banana and orange peels. Prasetyaningtyas, R. I., Putri, S. A., Moazeni, F. K., Mendes, J. P. P. & Clark, S. E., Mar 18 2021, In: Journal of Environmental Engineering and Science. 17, 1, p. 30-40 11 p.

Water quality of runoff from flat panel display glass concrete during modified accelerated aging plus leaching tests. Mathews, G. F., Clark, S. E., Nash, H. A. & Bylone, R. J., Nov 1 2020, In: Water Environment Research. 92, 11, p. 2015-2023 9 p.

Development of treatment media for advanced stormwater treatment at an industrial site. Pitt, R. E., Clark, S. E. & Steets, B., Mar 2019, In: Water Practice and Technology. 14, 1, p. 81-87 7 p.

Statistical analyses of flow rates of stormwater treatment bioretention media. Sileshi, R., Pitt, R. E. & Clark, S. E., Sep 2019, In: Water Environment Research. 91, 9, p. 877-887 11 p.

Performance evaluation of an alternative underdrain material for stormwater biofiltration systems. Sileshi, R., Pitt, R. & Clark, S., May 1 2018, In: Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. 4, 2, 04018002.

Clogging mechanism of stormwater filter media by NaCl as a deicing salt. Kakuturu, S. P. & Clark, S. E., Feb 1 2015, In: Environmental Engineering Science. 32, 2, p. 141-152 12 p.

Effects of deicing salts on the clogging of stormwater filter media and on the media chemistry. Kakuturu, S. P. & Clark, S. E., Sep 1 2015, In: Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States). 141, 9, 4015020.

Ph.D., Environmental Health Engineering (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
M.S., Civil Engineering (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
B.S., Chemical Engineering (Washington University in St. Louis)

CE 462: Open Channel Hydrology
CE 555: Open Channel Hydraulics
ENVE 415: Engineering Hydrology
ENVE 417: Hydraulic Design
ENVE 550: Chemical Fate and Transport
ENVE 569: Environment Risk Assessment
STAT 500: Groundwater Hydrology