Rumana Riffat

rumana Riffat

Rumana Riffat

Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs


Email: Rumana Riffat
Office Phone: 202-994-8323
SEH 2885F | Office Hours: T, W: 2:30 - 4:00 pm

Professor Rumana Riffat's research interests are in wastewater treatment, specifically anaerobic treatment of wastewater and biosolids, nutrient removal, and wastewater reuse. She and her research group have conducted extensive research on processes to further reduce pathogens, such as dual digestion, temperature phased digestion, and various pretreatment options. Her nutrient removal research has focused on determination of kinetics, and evaluation of various external carbon sources for denitrification. Current research projects include evaluation of high rate and annamox processes for carbon and nitrogen removal; as well as development of a small scale sewage treatment and wastewater reuse system for a developing country.

  • B.S., Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, 1988
  • M.S., Iowa State University, 1991
  • Ph.D., Iowa State University, 1994


  • Riffat, R. (2012) Fundamentals of Wastewater Treatment and Engineering, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis group, 333 pages, Boca Raton, Florida.

Selected Journal Publications

  • Rahman, A., Meerburg, F., Ravadagundhi, S., Wett, B., Jimenez, J., Bott, C., Al-Omari, A., Riffat, R., Murthy, S., and De Clippeleir, H. (2016) “Bioflocculation Management through High-Rate Contact-Stabilization: A Promising Technology to Recover Organic Carbon from Low-Strength Wastewater.” Water Research, vol. 104, 485-496.
  • Rahman, A., Okogi, S., Riffat, R., Al-Omari, A., and Murthy, S. (2016) “Characterizing Denitrification Kinetics in Lab Scale Reactors for Longer Term Ethanol Dosage.” Journal of Water and Environment Technology, vol. 14, no.5, 372-385.
  • Husnain, T., Liu, Y., Riffat, R. and Mi, B. (2015) “Integration of Forward Osmosis and Membrane Distillation for Sustainable Wastewater Reuse.” Separation and Purification Technology, vol. 156, part 2, 424-431.
  • Husnain, T., Mi, B. and Riffat, R. (2015) “Fouling and Long-term Durability of an Integrated Forward Osmosis and Membrane Distillation System.” Water Science & Technology, vol.72, no. 11, 2000-2005.
  • Husnain, T., Mi, B., Riffat, R. (2015) “A Combined Forward Osmosis and Membrane Distillation System for Sidestream Treatment.” Journal of Water Resource and Protection, no. 7, 1111-1120.
  • Mohd, N. S., Husnain, T., Li, B., Rahman, A., Riffat, R. (2015) “Investigation of the Performance and Kinetics of Anaerobic Digestion at 45oC.” Journal of Water Resource and Protection, no. 7, 1099 - 1110.
  • Mohd, N. S., Li, B., Hameed, A., Ahmed, S., Riffat, R. (2015) “Anaerobic Digestion at 45°C for Sludge Treatment: A Trade-off between Performances and Capability in Producing Class A Biosolids.” International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, vol. 7, no. 6, 399-405.
  • Shaw, A., Takacs, I., Pagilla, K., Riffat, R., DeClippelier, H., Wilson, C., and Murthy, S. (2015) “Toward Universal Half-Saturation Coefficients: Describing Extant Ks as a Function of Diffusion.” Water Environment Research, vol. 87, no. 5, 387-391.
  • Aynur, S., Riffat, R., and Murthy, S. (2014) “Efficiency of Autothermal Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion under Two Different Oxygen Flow Rates,” Water Environment Research, vol. 86, no.1, 87-96.
  • Aynur, S., Riffat, R., and Murthy, S. (2011) "Effect of Hydraulic Retention Time on       Pretreatment of Blended Municipal Sludge," Water Science and Technology, vol. 64, no.4, 967-973.
  • Ma, Y., Wilson, C., Novak, J., Riffat, R., Aynur, S., Murthy, S., Pruden, A. (2011) "Effect of various sludge digestion conditions on sulfonamide, macrolide and tetracycline resistance genes and class I integrons,"Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 45, no. 18, 7855-7861.
  • Mokhayeri, Y., R. Riffat, S. Murthy , W. Bailey, I. Takacs, and C. Bott (2009) "Balancing Yield, Kinetics and Cost for Three External Carbon Sources used for Suspended Growth Post Denitrification."Water Science and Technology, vol. 60, no.10, 2485-2491.
  • A. Cassel, M. Peric, D. Neupane, R. Riffat, and S. Murthy (2009) "Good for a Rainy Day: Changes in Primary Clarifier Design and Chemical Dosing Strategy to Optimize Performance." Water Environment & Technology, vol. 21, no.12, 45-49.
  • Neupane, D., Riffat, R., Murthy, S., Peric, M., and Wilson, T. (2008) "Influence Of Source Characteristics, Chemicals And Flocculation On Chemically Enhanced Primary Treatment." Water Environment Research, vol. 80, no. 4, 331-338.
  • Shuhaibar, B. and Riffat, R. (2008) "Development of a Process for Harmful Algal Bloom Prediction using GIS and Trend Analysis for the Terrestrial Waters of Kuwait." Journal of Environmental Informatics, vol.12, no. 2, 160-173.
  • Dold, P., Takacs, I., Mokhayeri, Y., Nichols, A., Hinojosa, J., Riffat, R., Bott, C., Bailey, W. and Murthy S. (2008) "Denitrification with Carbon Addition - Kinetic Considerations." Water Environment Research, vol. 80, no. 5, 417-427.
  • Mokhayeri, Y., Riffat, R., Takacs, I., Dold, P., Bott, C., Hinojosa, J., Bailey, W., and Murthy, S. (2008) "Characterizing Denitrification Kinetics at Cold Temperature using Various Carbon Sources in Lab-Scale Sequencing Batch Reactors." Water Science and Technology, vol. 58, no.1. 233-238.
  • Peric, M., Riffat, R., Murthy, S., Neupane, D., and Cassel, A. (2008) "Development of a Laboratory Clarifier Test to Predict Full-Scale Primary Clarifier Performance." International Journal of Environmental Research, vol. 2, no. 2, 103-110.
  • Buelna G., and Riffat R. (2007) "Preliminary Environmental Monitoring of Water Quality in the Rio Grande in the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Region." Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering, vol. 42, no.10, 1379-1390.
  • Riffat, R. and Krongthamchat, K. (2007) "Anaerobic Treatment of High Saline Wastewater using Halophilic Methanogens in Laboratory Scale Anaerobic Filters." Water Environment Research, vol.79, no.2, 191-198.
  • Mokhayeri, Y., Nichols, A., Murthy, S., Riffat, R., Dold, P., and Takacs, I. (2006) "Examining the Influence of Substrates and Temperature on Maximum Specific Growth Rate of Denitrifiers." Water Science and Technology, vol. 54, no. 8, 155-162.
  • Khan, D., and Riffat, R. (2006) "Strategies for Improving Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Pakistan." Journal of Engineering &Applied Science, vol.25, no.1, 67-75.
  • Riffat, R. and Khan, D. (2006) "A Review and Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process in Pakistan." Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation vol.1, 17-29.
  • Krongthamchat, K., Riffat, R., and Dararat, S. (2006) "Effect of trace metals on halophilic and mixed cultures in anaerobic treatment." International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 3, no.2, 103-112.
  • Riffat, R. and Krongthamchat, K. (2006) "Specific Methanogenic Activity of Halophilic and Mixed Cultures in Saline Wastewater." International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 2, no. 4, 291-299.

Research Report

  • Riffat, R., Weeks, J. L., Balbus, J., Desai, S. and Moody, J. (1999) "Protecting Workers from Exposure to Chemical and Physical Hazards at Wastewater Treatment Plants." Project 97-HHE-3, Water Environment Research Foundation, Alexandria, VA.
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (August 2012 – present), School of Engineering and Applied Science, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
  • Professor of Civil Engineering (August 2009 - present), Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, George Washington University, Washington, DC.
  • Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Award, Research Grand Prize, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES),  “Closing in on Energy Neutrality at a Wastewater Treatment Works: Modifying Contact Stabilization for 21st Century Drivers”. Lead researcher DC Water, co-researcher from GW - Dr. Riffat and doctoral student Arifur Rahman, 2016.
  • Recipient of GW Service Excellence Award, for Clinton Global Initiative Team, 2012.
  • Recipient of GW Service Excellence Award, for Sustainability 1001 Team, 2012.
  • Recipient of Outstanding Teacher Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Science of George Washington University, 2011.
  • Recipient of the George Bradley Gascoigne Wastewater Treatment Plant Operational Improvement Medal of Water Environment Federation, 2010.