Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty at the University of Delaware

Daniel Cha

346A DuPont Hall
Newark, Delaware
Phone: (302) 831-2435
Research Website


1990 | Ph.D, University of California, Berkeley
1986 | Master, University of British Columbia
1984 | Bachelor, McGill University


Daniel Cha is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has over 30 years of academic and industrial research experience in the area of environmental biological processes. His research focuses primarily on the role of microbial communities in natural and engineered systems, and sustainable solutions to waste management. His group is currently conducting research on the recovery of energy and fertilizers from food waste, the production of biocomposite materials from wastewater microorganisms, and genomic analysis of microbial communities in mixed culture systems. In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Cha also worked as a consulting engineer for an environmental consulting firm and an assistant engineer at Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.


  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental and Water Resources
  • Sustainability
  • Water


  1. Saxena, S., Ebrazibakhshayesh, B., Dentel, S.K., Cha, D.K., Imhoff, P.T. “Drying of fecal sludge in 3D laminate enclosures for urban waste management” Science of The Total Environment, 672, 927-937 (2019).
  2. Saxena, S., Ebrazibakhshayesh, B., Dentel, S.K., Imhoff, P.T., Cha, D.K. “In-situ drying of faecal sludge in breathable membrane-lined collection containers” Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development9, 281-288 (2019).
  3. Tian, J., Jin, J., Chiu, P.C., Cha, D.K., Guo, M. Imhoff, P.T. “A pilot-scale, bi-layer bioretention system with biochar and zero-valent iron for enhanced nitrate removal from stormwater” Water Research, 148, 378-387 (2019).
  4. Maeng, M.H. and Cha, D.K. “Transesterification of waste activated sludge for biosolids reduction and biodiesel production” Water Environ Research, 90, 180-186 (2018).
  5. Oh, S.Y., Seo, Y.D., Kim, B.S., Kim, I.Y, Cha, D.K. “Microbial reduction of nitrate in the presence of zero-valent iron and biochar” Bioresource Technology, 200, 891-896 (2016).
  6. Chang, J.S., Cha, D.K., Radosevich, M., Jin, Y. “Effects of biosurfactant-producing bacteria on biodegradation and transport of phenanthrene in subsurface soil” Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, 50, 611-616 (2015).
  7. Choi, O.K., Song, J.S., Cha, D.K., Lee, J.W. “Biodiesel production from wet municipal sludge: Evaluation of in situ transesterification using xylene as a cosolvent” Bioresource Technology, 166, 51-56 (2014).
  8. Ryu, H. W., Nor, S. J., Moon, K. E., Cho, K. S. , Cha, D. K., and Rhee, K. I. “Reduction of perchlorate by salt tolerant bacterial consortia” Bioresource Technology, 103  279–285 (2012).
  9. Ahn, S. C., Cha, D. K., Kim, B. J., and Oh, S. Y.,Detoxification of PAX-21 ammunitions wastewater by zero-valent iron for microbial reduction of perchlorate”  Journal of Hazardous Materials, 192, 909-914 (2011).
  10. Son, A. J., Schmidt, C. J., Shin, H., and Cha, D. K. “Microbial community analysis of perchlorate-reducing cultures growing on zero-valent iron”  Journal of Hazardous Materials, 185, 669–676 (2011).
  11. Lee, J.W., Cha, D.K., Oh, Y.K., KO, K.B., and Song, J.S.  Zero-valent Iron Pretreatment for Detoxifying Iodine in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Manufacturing Wastewater.  Journal of Hazardous Materials, 164, 67-72 (2009).
  12. Shin, K. H. and Cha, D. K. “Microbial Reduction of Nitrate in the Presence of Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron” Chemosphere, 72, 257-262 (2008).
  13. Lee, J. W, Cha, D.K., Kim, I. K., Son, A., and Ahn, K. H. “Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) technology for monitoring biological foaming in activated sludge: Full scale plant verification.” Environmental Technology, 29, 199-206 (2008).
  14. Oh, S. Y., Lee, J., Cha, D. K. and Chiu, P. C. “Reduction of Acrolein by Elemental Iron: Kinetics, pH Effect, and Detoxification” Environmental Science and Technology, 40, 2765-2770 (2006).
  15. Son, A., Lee, J. W., Chiu, P. C. and Cha, D. K.  “Microbial Reduction of Perchlorate with Zero-valent Iron.”  Water Research, 40, 2027-2032 (2006).
  16. Perey-Saxe, J., Lubenow, B. L., Chiu, P. C., Huang, C. P. and Cha, D. K.  Enhanced biodegradation of azo dyes using an integrated elemental iron-activated sludge system: I. Evaluation of system performance.  Water Environment Research, 78, 19-25 (2006).
  17. Oh, S. Y., Chiu, P. C., Kim, B. J. and, Cha, D. K.  “Zero-Valent Iron Pretreatment for Enhancing the Biodegradability of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5 triazine (RDX).”  Water Research, 39, 5027-5032 (2005).
  18. Oh, S. Y., Chiu, P. C, Kim, B. J., and Cha, D. K., Enhancing Fenton oxidation of TNT and RDX through pretreatment with zero-valent iron. Water Research, 37, 4275-4283 (2003).

View Full CV