Jessica Ray

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, 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.
  2. Chelsea W. Neil, Jessica R. Ray, Byeondgu Lee, and Young-Shin Jun, “Fractal Aggregation and Disaggregation of Newly Formed Iron(III) (Hydr)oxide Nanoparticles in the Presence of Natural Organic Matter,” Environmental Science: Nano, 2016, 3 (3), 647-656.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Jiaxi Fang, Yang Wang, Michel Attoui, Tandeep S. Chadha, Jessica R. Ray, Wei-Ning Wang, Young-Shin Jun, and Pratim Biswas, “Measurement of Sub-2 nm Clusters of Pristine and Composite Metal Oxides during Nanomaterial Synthesis in Flame Aerosol Reactors,” Analytical Chemistry, 2014, 86 (15), 7523-7529.
  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.
  8. Yandi Hu, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ in Brines Affect Supercritical CO2–Brine–Biotite Interactions: Ion Exchange, Biotite Interactions: Ion Exchange, Biotite Dissolution, and Illite Precipitation,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2012, 47 (1), 191-197.
  9. Daniel Garcia, Hongbo Shao, Yandi Hu, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Supercritical CO2–Brine Induced Dissolution, Swelling, and Secondary Mineral Formation on Phlogopite Surfaces at 75–95°C and 75 atm,” Energy & Environmental Science, 2012, 5 (2), 5758-5767.
  10. Yandi Hu, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Biotite–Brine Interactions under Acidic Hydrothermal Conditions: Fibrous Illite, Goethite, and Kaolinite Formation and Biotite Surface Cracking,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, 45 (14), 6175– 6180.
  11. Hongbo Shao, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Effects of Salinity and the Extent of Water on Supercritical CO2-Induced Phlogopite Dissolution and Secondary Mineral Formation,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, 45 (4), 1737 – 1743.
  12. Hongbo Shao, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Dissolution and Precipitation of Clay Minerals under Geologic CO2 Sequestration Conditions: CO2-Brine-Phlogopite Interactions,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, 44 (15) 5999-6005.
  13. Hongbo Shao, Jessica R. Ray, and Young-Shin Jun, “Effects of Organic Ligands on Supercritical CO2–Induced Phlogopite Dissolution and Secondary Mineral Formation,” Chemical Geology, 2011, 290 (3-4), 121-132.

Honors & awards

  • University of California, Berkeley; Miller Institute for Basic Research Postdoctoral Fellowship; 2015; $225K
  • American Chemical Society; Environmental Chemistry Graduate Student Award; 2014
  • Environmental Protection Agency; Students to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship; 2012, $132K
  • National Science Foundation; GK-12 Fellowship; $50K; 2009