John D. Atkinson


John D. Atkinson.

John D. Atkinson


John D. Atkinson


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

Contact Information

233 Jarvis Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-4001

Biography Publications Teaching Research Honors and Awards

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.​


  • 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