Michael J. Semmens

Michael J. Semmens

Michael J. Semmens

Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering


  • B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, 1968, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, U.K.
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering, 1970, Harvard University
  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, 1973, University College, London, U.K.

Professional Background

  • Project Engineer, Hazen & Sawyer Engineers, New York, NY, 1968-69
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, 1973-77
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 1982-83
  • Visiting Professor, School of Water Sciences, Cranfield University, Bedford, England1991-92

Current Activities

  • Senior Technical Advisor for OxyMem in Dublin, Ireland
  • Visiting Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Padua, Italy
  • Traveling and enjoying life!
Research Interests
  • Chemical and physical processes for water, wastewater, and hazardous waste treatment
  • Membrane applications in water and waste water treatment
  • Membrane bioreactor design
  • The design of composite membranes and membrane modules for environmental applications
  • Passive barrier membranes for in-situ bioremediaton of chlorinated organic compounds
  • Biofilms grown on gas-permeable membranes

Note: Prof. Semmens is no longer accepting graduate students for advising.

Selected Publications

Ahmadi-Motlagh, A., Semmens, M.J. and Voller, V.V. Advective flow through membrane-aerated biofilms. Modeling results. Journal of Membrane Science, in press 2005.

Shanahan, J. and Semmens M.J. Influence of a nitrifying biofilm on local oxygen fluxes across a micro-porous flat sheet membrane. 2005. Journal of Membrane Science, 277(1) 65-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2005.10.010.

Ahmed T., Semmens M.J., Voss, M.A. 2004. Oxygen transfer characteristics of hollow-fiber, composite membranes. Adv. Environ. Research, 8(3-4): 637-646.

Ben Aim, R.M., Semmens, M.J. 2003. Membrane bioreactors for wastewater treatment and reuse: a success story. Water Science and Tech., 47(1): 1-5.

Clapp, L.W., M.J. Semmens, P.J. Novak, and R.M. Hozalski. 2004. Model for in-situ PCE dechlorination via membrane-delivered hydrogen. Journal of Environmental EngineeringASCE, 130 (11): 1367-1381.

Cole, A., T. LaPara and M.J. Semmens. 2004. The stratification of activity and bacterial community structure in biofilms grown on membranes transferring oxygen. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70(4): 1982-1989.

Fang, Y., L.W. Clapp, R.M. Hozalski, P.J. Novak, and M.J. Semmens. 2004. Membrane gas transfer under conditions of creeping flow: Modeling gas composition effects. Water Research, 38(10): 2489-2498.

Fang, Yuan, P.J. Novak, R.M. Hozalski, E.L. Cussler, and M.J. Semmens. 2004. Condensation studies in gas permeable membranes. J. Membrane Sci., 231(1-2): 47-55.

Shanahan, J. and M.J. Semmens. 2004. A multi-species model for membrane aerated biofilms. Env. Sci and Tech. 38(11): 3176-3183.

Ma, X., P.J. Novak, L.W. Clapp, M.J. Semmens, R.M. Hozalski. 2003. Evaluation of polyethylene hollow-fiber membranes for hydrogen delivery to support reductive dechlorination in a soil column. Water Research, 37: 2905-2918.

Semmens, M.J. , Dahm, K., Shanahan J., et al. 2003. COD and nitrogen removal by biofilms growing on gas permeable membranes. Water Research, 37(18): 4343-4350.