Dr. Katya Cherukumilli

Katya 2Katya completed her B.S. in Environmental Sciences (2012) and PhD in Environmental Engineering (2017) at the University of California, Berkeley. During her doctoral research, Katya developed an inexpensive process to remediate fluoride-contaminated groundwater by using bauxite, an aluminum-rich ore that is widely available in resource-constrained regions affected by endemic skeletal fluorosis. Currently, Katya is a UW Commercialization Postdoctoral Fellow and the Founder/CEO of her nonprofit, Global Water Labs. Katya aims to scale up and deploy the groundwater defluoridation process in the East African Rift Valley in conjunction with field partners. Katya is also conducting research to treat industrial wastewater containing heavy metals (e.g., Cu, Pb, Zn) at Cascade Designs, Inc. Her overarching research interests are to leverage inexpensive natural composite ores to remediate persistent inorganic groundwater contaminants, to evaluate the efficiency of different reactor configurations, and to develop novel methods for addressing solid waste produced during water treatment by adsorption. In her spare time, Katya loves throwing pottery at the studio, cooking vegetarian meals, playing strategy-based board games, bouldering, playing soccer, and exploring new waterfalls and rivers.