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Jessica Ray

Faculty Photo

Robert O. and Irene V. Sylvester Family Endowed Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • (206) 221-0791
  • MOR 301
  • Ray Lab
  • CV


Dr. Jessica Ray joined the University of Washington Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as an Assistant Professor in January 2019. Previously, Dr. Ray was a Miller Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley investigating low-cost engineered adsorbents for removal of trace contaminants in urban stormwater. Jessica received her B.S. (Chemical Engineering, 2009) and Ph.D. (Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, 2015) from Washington University in St. Louis. As a graduate student, Dr. Ray’s research examined nanomaterial fate and transport by employing advanced surface chemistry analytical techniques for which she received the Environmental Protection Agency Students to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship to support her research. At the University of Washington, Jessica plans to design, characterize and apply low-cost composites (e.g., adsorbents, functionalized polymers, modified membranes) for selective removal of contaminants in stormwater and wastewater. In the future, Dr. Ray plans to expand the portfolio of composites to investigate ways to recover nutrients and other valuable materials from wastes.  


  • Ph.D. in Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2015
  • M.S. in Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009

Previous appointments

  • Miller Institute for Basic Research, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2015-2018

Research Statement

Jessica’s research interests include functionalized composites, surface chemistry, and targeted removal and recovery of wastewater constituents. Dr. Ray is interested in a holistic and fundamental understanding of mechanisms governing composite performance from conceptualization to application, as well as ways to incorporate these new composite materials into existing wastewater treatment infrastructure. Current research projects include selective removal and destructive treatment of recalcitrant perfluoralkyl substances from groundwater, and design of inexpensive engineered geomedia for urban stormwater contaminant removal during aquifer recharge.

Select publications

  1. Jessica R. Ray, Xuanhao Wu, Chelsea W. Neil, Haesung Jung, Zhichao Li and Young-shin Jun, “Redox Chemistry of CeO2 Nanoparticles in Aquatic Systems Containing Cr(VI)(aq) and Fe2+ Ions,” Environmental Science: Nano, 2019, 6, 2269-2280.
  2. Jessica R. Ray, Itamar A. Shabtai, Marc Teixidó, Yael G. Mishael, and David L. Sedlak, “Polymer-Clay Composite Geomedia for Sorptive Removal of Trace Organic Compounds and Metals in Urban Stormwater,” Water Research, 2019, 157, 454-462.
  3. Jessica R. Ray, Whitney Wong, and Young-Shin Jun, “Antiscaling Efficiency of CaCO3 and CaSO4 on Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-modified Reverse Osmosis Membranes in the Presence of Humic Acid: Interplay of Membrane Surface Properties and Water Chemistry,” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2017, 19 (7), 5647-5657.
  4. Jessica R. Ray,† Sirimuvva Tadepalli,† Saide Z. Nergiz, Keng-Ku Liu, Le You, Yinjie Tang, Srikanth Singamaneni, and Young-Shin Jun, “Hydrophilic, Bactericidal Nanoheater-Enabled Reverse Osmosis Membranes to Improve Fouling Resistance,” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7 (21), 11117-11126.
  5. Xuyang Liu,† Jessica R. Ray,† Chelsea W. Neil,† Qingyun Li, and Young-Shin Jun, “Enhanced Colloidal Stability of CeO2 Nanoparticles by Ferrous Ions: Adsorption, Redox Reaction, and Surface Precipitation,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2015, 49 (9), 5476-5483.
  6. Jessica R. Ray, Wei Wan, Benjamin Gilbert, and Young-Shin Jun, “Effects of Formation Conditions on the Physicochemical Properties, Aggregation, and Phase Transformation of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles,” Langmuir, 2013, 29 (4), 1069-1076.
  7. Jessica R. Ray, Byeongdu Lee, Jonas Baltrusaitis, and Young-Shin Jun, “Formation of Iron(III) Hydroxides on Polyaspartate- and Alginate-Coated SiO2: Effects of Substrate Hydrophilicity and Functional Groups at the Surface,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2012, 46 (24), 13167-13175.

Honors & awards

  • College of Engineering Rogel Faculty Support Award, 2020
  • Chemical & Engineering News Class of 2020 Talented 12, 2020
  • Royalty Research Fund: University of Washington, 2019
  • Miller Institute for Basic Research Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of California Berkeley, 2015
  • Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship: Environmental Protection Agency, 2012
  • GK-12 Fellowship: National Science Foundation, 2009