Taha Marhaba, PhD, received the 2010 Distinguished Engineer Award from the Rutgers Engineering Society, the alumni association of the Rutgers School of Engineering, on May 17. The award is presented annually by the Rutgers Engineering Society, the alumni association of the Rutgers University School of Engineering, to a graduate of the Rutgers School of Engineering who has made significant technical contributions during their career. Marhaba holds a PhD and MS in environmental engineering and a BS in civil engineering, all from Rutgers University.
Marhaba, of Bridgewater, is a professor and chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering at NJIT. He is also director of the New Jersey Applied Water Research Center at NJIT. His expertise in water quality most notably has developed what is known as the spectral fluorescent signatures (SFS) technique, which is used to rapidly identify organics in water—organics that could be problematic.
The SFS acts like a fingerprint of water, characterizing its organic content and allowing researchers to see if the water contains natural or unnatural sources. Most importantly, the SFS allows researchers to determine the organic character of watersheds and to check the water quality.
Marhaba also has an expertise in droughts, and has been one of New Jersey’s leading commentators on the consequences of the current drought. Prior to joining NJIT in 1995, he was associated with environmental consulting at Stone & Webster Engineering Corp.
His work has been published in Water Research, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Journal of Hazardous Materials and others.
In 2008, Marhaba received NJIT's Excellence in Teaching Award for undergraduate instruction, lower division. The awards are given annually to professors whose teaching has had an immense and positive impact on students.
Marhaba said that an inscription under his portrait on the commemorative plaque included the following information.
“Taha F. Marhaba received the 2010 Distinguished Engineer award for contributions made during his prestigious career in Environmental Engineering, and the advancement of the state of the art in water quality.
Examples of his impact in this field include:
- Development of the technique known as “Spectral Fluorescent Signatures”, an essential tool for rapid evaluation of precursors to water treatment by-products, allowing for ever more stringent quality standards.
- Development of a fractionation technique for low-level natural organic matter in source water, and the understanding of disinfection.
- Advancement of research in biosorption of heavy metals by algal species.”
For more information about the honor, please visit: http://www.rutgersengineeringsociety.org/dea/dea.html