Carnegie Mellon University

Sarah Fakhreddine

July 05, 2022

Fakhreddine Joins CEE as Assistant Professor

Sarah Fakhreddine recently joined CEE as an Assistant Professor, bringing to the department a background in both engineering and earth sciences. Fakhreddine’s area of expertise is focused on developing approaches to improve the resilience of freshwater supplies to climate change and population growth. She will official start in the department January 2023.

She says that her teaching style emphasizes explaining topics in ways that prioritizes an active, adaptive learning environment. Her priority is to keep students engaged—by dividing up lectures with exercises like demos, group activities, and interactive example problems.    

Fakhreddine’s instructional perspectives are based upon the strong relationships she’s had with her own mentors and instructors, who keep her motivated to return the favor to today’s students. 

She seeks to foster a supportive learning and research environment that enables students to achieve their academic and career goals. “In an environmental engineering context, my goals are to provide students the broader context of the environmental challenges we face and the technical skills and training to address those challenges.”  

A graduate of Stanford University, Fakhreddine completed her post doc research at the University of Texas at Austin. “I studied strategies to store excess water underground in depleted groundwater aquifers as a way to balance disconnects between water supply and demand,” she says. Fakhreddine explains that during wet periods, floodwater could be stored in aquifers and recovered during times of drought to offset variability in water availability. 

“To do this safely and effectively, we need a strong understanding of several processes, including climate impacts on water resources and water quality changes that can occur in aquifers.” 

One of her current research topics focuses on understanding the fundamental geochemical process that controls water quality in order to design aquifer storage strategies that prevent contamination of water supplies and protects human and ecosystem health.

Now that she’s relocated to Pittsburgh, Fakhreddine is excited to explore the region’s parks and museums. She’s also a theater fan and is ready to experience the active theater community within CMU.