John D. Atkinson

PhD

John D. Atkinson.

John D. Atkinson

PhD

John D. Atkinson

PhD

Scott and Coleen Stevens Chair in Engineering Sustainability and Associate Professor
Director, Graduate studies, Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
Director, Engineering Science MS: Focus on Engineering Sustainability

Research Topics

Waste Management; Recycling; Plastics and Polymers; Environmental Engineering; Sustainability; Porous Materials; Carbon, Aerosol Science and Technology; Hazardous Materials

Biography Publications Teaching Research Videos Latest News

John D. Atkinson is an environmental engineering professor at the University at Buffalo, where he created the University’s most popular study abroad course and has been recognized as an Early Career Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Director, Experiential Learning Faculty Fellow, and Best Undergraduate Mentor. 

His work is driven by an overarching desire to more sustainably produce and consume, resulting in a diverse portfolio of publications and seminars. With on-going funding from New York State and the U.S. National Science Foundation, as well as local industry, he is currently researching within the broad field of waste management, using life cycle analysis tools to investigate plastics and tire recycling, waste disposal options, and energy recovery. His work targets real-world problems that impact everyday life, aiming to make engineering more thoughtful and accessible.

Atkinson emboldens lifestyle changes that promote sustainability. He encourages his students to expand their comfort zones, holistically problem solve, and embrace their creativity through engineering design.​

He received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois in 2007, a MS in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2009 and a Ph.D in Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois (UIUC) in 2013.

Education

  • PhD Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois (UIUC), 2013
  • MS Environmental Engineering in Civil Engineering, University of Illinois, 2009
  • BS Chemistry (Minor in Mathematics), University of Illinois, 2007

Honors and Awards

  • Life Raft Award Winner, Engineering Sustainability, UB Honor’s College Annual Faculty Competition (2021)
  • Best Young Professional Paper in “Sustainability, Climate Change, Resource Conservation, and Waste Management,” Air & Waste Management Meeting (2019)
  • UB Experiential Learning Network Faculty Fellow (2018-2019)
  • UB School of Engineering and Applied Science Early Career Teacher of the Year (2017)
  • Best Paper in “Adsorbent Materials” Session at AIChE Annual Meeting (2017)
  • Outstanding Director – Air & Waste Management Association, Niagara Frontier Section (2016-2017)
  • Best Undergraduate Mentor – UB LSAMP Program’s “Mister Miyagi Award” (2015)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors – National Science Foundation CAREER Workshop Travel Award (2015)
  • Air & Waste Management Association Ph.D. Dissertation Award – 2nd Place (2014)
  • UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students (2010, CEE 446)
  • American Carbon Society Mrozowski Oral Presentation Award – Finalist (2010)
  • Air & Waste Management Association M.S. Thesis Award – 1st Place (2010)
  • Air & Waste Management Association Poster Presentation Award – 1st Place (2009)
  • UIUC Environmental Engineering Esmilla Scientific Writing Award – 1st Place (2008)
  • UIUC Arthur R. Matheson Undergraduate Excellence in Chemistry Award (2006)

Professional Memberships

  1. Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA, International and Local Niagara Frontier Section) Member, 2007 – Present
    • Niagara Frontier Section, Executive Board Member, 2015 – 2018
    • Niagara Frontier Section, Education Chair, 2016 – 2018
  2. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 2012 – 2018
  3. Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), 2013 – Present
  4. Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), 2016 – Present