Research and Professional Interests
Professor Ball has research interests and on-going projects in various areas of environmental engineering, with emphasis on physical and chemical processes affecting water quality, in both natural environments and engineered processes of treatment. One current major interest is on the development and application of appropriate and sustainable technologies for developing nations, with focus on water resources, drinking water, and sanitation, including projects currently underway by doctoral student advisees Laura MacDonald and Christopher Kelley, in collaboration with GWP members Kellogg Schwab, Maria-Elena Figueroa, Erica Schoenberger, Alain Labrique, their students, and various other U.S. and international colleagues. This work includes a research project to better understand the factors affecting the “inception-to-implementation” process for initiatives that strive to provide safe drinking water at the household level in developing countries (MacDonald) and another research project aimed at providing better tools for understanding of the historical and spatial landscape of prior technical interventions and outcomes for water and sanitation provision within developing regions (Kelley).
Professor Ball is also involved with two major projects that address emerging water quality concerns in the U.S. These include projects for the development of (1) better cyber-enabled approaches for analyzing and understanding water quality observations in the Chesapeake Bay, as part of a multi-investigator NSF-funded effort to develop and apply a prototypical "Chesapeake Bay Environmental Observatory" (CBEO); and (2) better understanding of the potential environmental impact and fate of carbon-based nanomaterials in aquatic systems, with focus on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (currently funded through the NSF and the U.S. EPA). As principal investigator for the CBEO project, Professor Ball coordinates the activities of nine investigators at seven institutions, while also working closely with doctoral student advisee Rebecca Murphy on a research project to make better use of archived water quality data for better understanding the relationships between nutrient loadings, stratification, and hypoxia in the Chesapeake Bay. Meanwhile, the work on environmental fate and effects of carbon nanotubes involves doctoral advisee Jin Yang and is conducted in collaboration with Professor Howard Fairbrother, Professor Kai Loon Chen, and their students, and is coordinated through JHU’s Institute for Nanobiotechnology. Professor Ball is also collaborating with Professor Hilpert and his student, Yaqi You, on a research project related to the processes affecting antibiotic resistance transport in the environment, and with GWP Program Manager Luke MacDonald and Professors Grace Brush, Darryn Waugh, Ben Zaitchik, Seth Guikema, Kimberly Jones, and others to submit a proposal for an interdisciplinary graduate education and research (IGERT) program in the area of water, climate, and health.
GWP Magazine Articles
- Water & Health
- Water in the Environment
Areas of Collaboration
- Aquatic Biology
- Colloidal dispersion and stability
- Communication media
- Community based approaches
- Economics and markets
- Ecosystem analysis
- Emerging contaminants
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental decision analysis
- Health surveillance systems
- Logistics planning
- Monitoring, sensors, and sensor networks
- Operations research
- Program evaluation
- Risk analysis and perception
- Social marketing
- Vector borne diseases
- Water and mechanical stability of construction
- Water quality management (surface & ground water)
- Water quantity management
- Water resources management
Environmental engineering, Water quality modeling (surface and subsurface waters), Physical and chemical processes in water and wastewater treatment, Groundwater contamination, Pollutant fate and transport, Adsorption Processes, Subsurface remediation, Mass transfer, Hazardous waste management, Pollution prevention, Environmental sustainability
Liquid scintillation counting (radiolabelled tracer analysis)
Surface area analysis
Bench scale miscibile transport experiments
Various wet chemical water quality analyses
French oral: fluent/working
French written: working
Zulu oral: minimal
Zulu written: minimal/none
Africa: South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Latin America: Equador, Guatemala
- Smith, B.A., K.W. Wepasnick, K.E. Schrote, A.R. Bertele, W.P. Ball, C.R. O’Melia, and D.H. Fairbrother "Colloidal Properties of Aqueous Suspensions of Acid-Treated, Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.43. 3 (2009). pp. 819 - 825.
- Bai, J., C. Liu, and W.P. Ball "Study of Sorption-Retarded U(VI) Diffusion in Hanford Silt/Clay Material". Environmental Science and Technology. (2009).
- Murphy, R., F.C. Curriero, W.P.Ball "Comparison of Spatial Interpolation Methods for Water Quality Evaluation in the Chesapeake Bay". ASCE J. of Environmental Engineering. (2009).
- Cho, H-H, K. Wepasnick, B.A. Smith, F. K. Bangash, D. Howard Fairbrother, and W.P. Ball "The Roles of Graphenic Carbon and Carboxyl Functional Groups on the Sorption of Zn(II) by Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Aqueous Solution". Langmuir. (2009).
- Smith, B., K. Wepasnick, K.E. Schrote, H-H Cho, W.P Ball, and D.H. Fairbrother "Influence of Surface Oxides on the Colloidal Stability of MultiWalled Carbon Nanotubes: A Structure-Property Relationship". Langmuir. (2009).
- Cho, H-H, B.A. Smith, J.D. Wnuk, D.H. Fairbrother, and W.P. Ball "Influence of Surface Oxides on the Adsorption of Naphthalene onto Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes". Environmental Science and Technology. (2008).
- CBEO Project Team (W.P. Ball, D. Brady, M. Brooks, R. Burns, B. E. Cuker, D.M. Di Toro, T F. Gross, W.:M. Kemp, L. Murray, R. Murphy, E. Perlman; M. Piasecki, J. Testa, I. Zaslavsky) "A Prototype System for Multi-Disciplinary Shared Cyberinfrastructure –Chesapeake Bay Environmental Observatory (CBEO)". ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering. vol.13. 10 (2008). pp. 960 - 970.
- Cho, H-H, B.A. Smith, J.D. Wnuk, D.H. Fairbrother, and W.P. Ball "Influence of Surface Oxides on the Adsorption of Naphthalene onto Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.42. 8 (2008). pp. 2899 - 2905.
- DiGenova, T., B. Yohannes, D. Hill, W. P. Ball, R. Shklyan, Y. Li, and D. Alcock "Sustainable engineering requires community collaboration". World Water and Environmental Engineering. January/February (2008). pp. 34 - 37.
- Haws, N.W., M. Paraskewich, M. Hilpert, and W.P. Ball, "Exploring relative rates of axial diffusion in a cylindrical macropore column". Water Resources Research. vol.43. (2007). p. W10409. doi:10.1029/2006WR005751
- Haws, N.W., W.P. Ball, and E.J. Bouwer "Implications of intraparticle contaminant distributions on desorption modeling and long-term availability". Journal of Environmental Quality. vol.36. Sept-Oct (2007). pp. 1392 - 1402.
- Hammes, K., M.W.I. Schmidt, L.A. Currie, W.P. Ball, T.H. Nguyen, and 35 others "Comparison of quantification methods to measure fire-derived (black/elemental) carbon in soils and sediments using reference materials from soil, water, sediment and the atmosphere". Global Biogeochemical Cycles. vol.21. 3 (2007). art. no. GB3016; doi:10.1029/2006GB002914
- Nguyen, T.H., H-H Cho, D. L. Poster, and W.P. Ball "Evidence for a Pore-Filling Mechanism in the Adsorption of Aromatic Hydrocarbons to a Natural Wood Char". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.41. 4 (2007). pp. 1212 - 1217.
- Haws, N.W., E.J. Bouwer, and W.P. Ball "The influence of biogeochemical conditions and level of model complexity when simulating cometabolic biodegradation in sorbent-water systems". Advances in Water Resources. vol.29. (2006). pp. 571 - 589.
- Brown, R.A., A.K. Kercher, T.H. Nguyen D.C. Nagle, and W.P. Ball, "Development of Synthetic Wood Chars as Models of Naturally Occurring Carbon Sorbents ". Organic Geochemistry. vol. 37. (2006). pp. 321 - 333.
- Dong, W.,G. Xie, T.R. Miller, M.P. Franklin,.T.P. Oxenberg, E J. Bouwer, W.P. Ball, R U. Halden "Sorption and Bioreduction of Hexavalent Uranium at a Military Facility by the Chesapeake Bay". Environmental Pollution. vol.142:. (2006). pp. 132 - 146.
- Nguyen, T.H. and W.P. Ball "Absorption and Adsorption of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants to Diesel and Hexane Soot". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.40. 9 (2006). pp. 2958 - -964.
- Allen-King, R.M. and W.P. Ball "Comment on ‘Sorption Kinetics of Organic Contaminants by Sandy Aquifer and its Kerogen Isolate’". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.40. 7 (2006). pp. 2489 - 2490.
- Hammes, K., M.W.I. Schmidt, L.A. Currie, W.P. Ball, T.H. Nguyen, and 35 others "Comparative analyses of black carbon reference materials from soil, water, sediment and atmosphere and environmental implications". Analytical Chemistry. (2006).
- Sabbah, I., W.P. Ball, D.F. Young, and E.J. Bouwer "Misinterpretations in the Modeling of Contaminant Desorption from Environmental Solids when Equilibrium Conditions Are Not Fully Understood". Environmental Engineering Science. vol.22. 3 (2005). pp. 350 - 356.
- Nguyen, T. H., K-U Goss, and W.P. Ball "Polyparameter Linear Free Energy Relationships for Estimating the Equilibrium Partition of Organic Compounds between Water and the Natural Organic Matter in Soils and Sediments". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.39. 4 (2005). pp. 913 - 924. DOI: 10.1021/es048839s
- Nguyen, T. H., I. Sabbah, and W.P. Ball "IImmobilization of Soot Particles in a Silica Matrix: A Solvent-Carrier System for Studying Organic Chemical Sorption". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.39. 17 (2005). pp. 6527 - 6534. DOI: 10.1021/es048271n
- Haws, N. W., W. P. Ball, and E. J. Bouwer "Modeling and Interpreting Bioavailability of Organic Contaminant Mixtures in Subsurface Environments". Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. vol. 82. 3-4 (2005). pp. 255 - 292.
- Dong, W., W.P. Ball, C. Liu, Z. Wang, A.T. Stone, J. Bai, and J. Zachara "Influence of Calcite and Dissolved Calcium on U(VI) Sorption to a Hanford Subsurface Sediment ". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.39. 20 (2005). pp. 7949 - 7955. DOI: 10.1021/es0505088
- Nguyen, T. H., I. Sabbah, and W.P. Ball "Sorption Nonlinearity for Organic Contaminants with Diesel Soot: Method Development and Isotherm Interpretation". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.38. 13 (2004). pp. 3595 - 2603. DOI: 10.1021/es0499748
- Nguyen, T. H., R. A. Brown, and W.P. Ball "An Evaluation of Thermal Resistance as a Measure of Black Carbon Content in Diesel Soot, Wood Char, and Sediment". Organic Geochemistry. vol.35. 3 (2004). pp. 217 - 234. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2003.09.005
- Weiss, W.J., E.J. Bouwer, W.P. Ball, C.R. O'Melia, R. Aboytes, and T. Speth "Riverbank Filtration: Effect of Ground Passage on NOM Character". J. Water Supply: Research and Technology-AQUA. vol.53. 2 (2004). pp. 61 - 83.
- Nguyen, T. H., I. Sabbah, W.P. Ball "Response to Comment on "Sorption Nonlinearity for Organic Contaminants with Diesel Soot: Method Development and Isotherm Interpretation". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.38. 20 (2004). pp. 5486 - 5487.
- Klausen, J., P.J. Vikesland, T. Kohn, D.R. Burris, W.P. Ball, and A.L. Roberts "Longevity of Granular Iron in Groundwater Treatment Processes: Solution Composition Effects on Reduction of Organohalides and Nitroaromatic Compounds". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.37. 6 (2003). pp. 1208 - 1218.
- Weiss, W.J., E.J. Bouwer, W.P. Ball, C.R. O'Melia, M.W. LeChevallier, H. Arora, and T. Speth "Riverbank Filtration: Fate of Disinfection By-Product Precursors and Selected Microorganisms". J. Amer. Water Works Assoc.. vol.95. 12 (2003). pp. 67 - 79.
- Weiss, W.J., E.J. Bouwer, W.P. Ball, C.R. O'Melia, H. Arora, and T. Speth "Comparing Riverbank Filtration with Bench-Scale Conventional Treatment for Precursor Reduction". J. Amer. Water Works Assoc.. vol.95. 12 (2003). pp. 67 - 80.
- Vikesland, P.J., J. Klausen, H. Zimmermann, A.L. Roberts, and W.P. Ball "Longevity of Granular Iron in Groundwater Treatment Processes: Changes in Solute Transport Properties over Time". Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. vol.64. 1-2 (2003). pp. 3 - 33.
- Allen-King, R., P. Grathwohl, and W.P. Ball "New Modeling Paradigms for the Sorption of Hydrophobic Organic Chemicals to Heterogeneous Carbonaceous Matter in Soils, Sediments, and Rocks". Advances in Water Resources. vol. 25. 8-12 (2002). pp. 985 - 1016.
- Liu, C. and W.P. Ball "Back Diffusion of Chlorinated Solvent Contaminants from a Natural Aquitard to a Remediated Aquifer under Well-controlled Field Conditions: Predictions and Measurements". Ground Water. vol.40. 2 (2002). pp. 175 - 184.
- Mackay, D.M., R.D. Wilson, M.P. Brown, W.P. Ball, G. Xia, and D.P. Durfee "A controlled field evaluation of continuous versus pulsed pump-and-treat remediation of a VOC-contaminated aquifer: Site characterization, experimental setup, and overview of results". Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. vol.41. 1/2 (2000). pp. 81 - 131.
- Xia, G. and W.P. Ball "Polanyi-Based Models for the Competitive Sorption of Low-Polarity Organic Contaminants on a Natural Sorbent". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.34. 7 (2000). pp. 1246 - 1253.
- Liu, C., J.E. Szecsody, J.M. Zachara and W.P. Ball "Use of the Generalized Integral Transform Method for Solving Equations of Solute Transport in Porous Media". Advances in Water Resources. vol.23. 5 (2000). pp. 483 - 492.
- Young, D.F. and W.P. Ball "Experimental Design for Accurate Estimation of Solute Transport Parameters from Temporal Moments under Nonequilibrium Conditions". Advances in Water Resources. vol.23. 5 (2000). pp. 449 - 460.
- Young, D.F., and W.P. Ball "Column Experimental Design Requirements for Estimating Model Parameters from Temporal Moments under Nonequilibrium Conditions". Advances in Water Resources. vol.23. 5 (2000). pp. 449 - 460.
- Arnold, W.A, W. P. Ball, and A.L. Roberts "Polychlorinated Ethane Reaction with Zero-Valent Zinc: Pathways and Rate Control". Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. vol.40. (1999). pp. 183 - 200.
- Young, D.F. and W.P. Ball "Two-Region Linear/Nonlinear Sorption Modeling: Batch and Column Experiments". Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. vol.18. 8 (1999). pp. 1686 - 1693.
- Liu, C. and W.P. Ball "Application of Inverse Methods to Contaminant Source Identification from Aquitard Diffusion Profiles at Dover AFB, DE". Water Resources Research. vol.35(7). (1999). pp. 1975 - 1985.
- Xia, G. and W.P. Ball "Adsorption-Partitioning Uptake of Nine Low-Polarity Organic Chemicals on a Natural Sorbent". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.33. 2 (1999). pp. 262 - 269.
- Liu, C. and W.P. Ball "Analytical modeling of diffusion-limited contamination and decontamination in a two-layer porous medium". Adv Water Resources. vol.24. 4 (1998). pp. 297 - 313.
- Young, D.F. and W.P. Ball "Estimating diffusion coefficients in low permeability aquitard material using a macropore column". Environmental Science and Technology. vol.32. 17 (1998). pp. 2578 - 2584.
- Braghetta, A., F.A. DiGiano, and W.P. Ball "NOM accumulation at the NF membrance surface: Impact of chemistry and shear". Journal of Environmental Engineering, ASCE. vol.124. 11 (1998). pp. 1087 - 1098.
- Njoroge, B.N.K., W.P. Ball, and R.S. Cherry "Sorption of 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene and Tetrachloroethene within an authigenic soil profile: Changes in Koc with soil depth". Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. vol.29. 4 (1998). pp. 347 - 377.
- Zhang, W., E.J. Bouwer, and W.P. Ball "Bioavailability of hydrophobic organic contaminants - Effects and implications of sorption-related mass transfer on bioremediation". Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation. vol.18. 1 (1998). pp. 126 - 138.