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Katherine Manz

Environmental and Climate Sciences


Supervising Faculty: Kimberly Carter

Katherine is pursuing a Ph.D. in Energy Science and Engineering with a focus on the relationship between energy and water. She is currently working with Dr. Kimberly Carter in the Department of Environmental Engineering at UT.

Katherine earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY. During her time at RPI, she performed research in Dr. K.V. Lakshmi’s lab of the Baruch ’60 Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research. Her research focused on creating highly efficient and cost effective solar energy conversion through fundamental understanding of electrochemistry and biological chemistry at the molecular level.

Katherine’s current research interests are focused on the availability and importance of clean, high quality water for all communities through the treatment of persistent water pollutants. At the University of Tennessee, Katherine is researching the treatment of wastewater produced by energy extraction via hydraulic fracturing. Engineering low-energy intensive treatment processes to eliminate refractory organic chemicals will allow hydraulic fracturing fluids to be reused for other purposes. Techniques that Katherine is interested in employing to treat these fluids include Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs), especially electrochemical AOPs and activated persulfate. She is also investigating the chemical interactions that occur as a result of the breaking agents used in fracturing and how they are impacted by pH, temperature, total dissolved solids content, and high pressures. Understanding how to treat hydraulic fracturing fluids could provide water scarcity relief in areas of the US currently facing draught, such as California and Texas.


Hydraulic fracturing, water reclamation, advanced oxidation processes, heat and electrochemical activation of persulfate, chemical kinetics


Master of Science, Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Awards and Recognitions

  • Student Fellow, UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (2016)
  • KY/TN AWWA Water Professionals Conference, Poster Presentation, 2nd place (2016)
  • 3rd Annual Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium, Poster Presentation, 3rd place (2016)
  • The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2014 – present)
  • Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges, RPI (2013)
  • Arthur G. Schultz Award for Undergraduate Research in Chemistry (2013)
  • RPI Undergraduate Research Project Fellowship (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • John L. Marsh ’58 RPI Summer Undergraduate Research Project Fellowship (2011)
  • RPI Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2011)
  • Student Fellow, Global Innovation Forum on Energy and Sustainability, World Bank Headquarters, Washington D.C. (2011)
  • Order of Omega National Honor Society


Google Scholar profile: Katherine Manz

Contact Information

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