Principle Investigator

Dr. Wenqing (Vicky) Xu

Wenqing received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering (2007) from Nankai University, M.S. in Environmental Engineering (2009) from Johns Hopkins University, and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Yale University (2014). Her areas of expertise include water and wastewater treatment, soil and groundwater remediation, and contaminants fate and transport.

Email:         Phone: (610) 519 8549
Google Scholar:

Current Students

Postdoctoral Associate

Mark L. Segall, Ph.D. (

Mark joined the group in September of 2019 and is investigating the ability of pyrogenic carbonaceous matter to bind and chemically transform insensitive munitions. He completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Drexel University College of Medicine before joining the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware as a postdoctoral fellow. More recently, he received his teaching certification for the State of Delaware and taught (primarily chemistry) on the secondary and postsecondary level. Mark presently resides in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. 


Ph.D. Student

Zhao Li (

Zhao received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in polymer science and engineering at Sichuan University in China. He joined the group in Spring 2016 and is currently working on synthesizing innovative materials for environmental applications.

Ph.D. Student

Han Cao (
Han received a B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (2014) and a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology (2018). He joined the group in Fall 2019 and his current project is mainly focused on surface chemistry in environmental contaminant remediation. 


Ph.D. Student

Pamela Rose V. Samonte (

Pamela received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (2017) from McGill University in Montréal, Canada. She is currently pursuing an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at Villanova University. She joined the group in Spring 2018. Her current project focuses on enzymatic applications for environmental remediation. In her spare time, Pamela enjoys singing and playing the guitar and piano. She is also actively learning tap dancing in the hopes of one day dancing along to the "Good Morning" routine from Singing in the Rain.


Master's Student

Xiaolei Xu (

Xiaolei Xu received his B.S. degree in water resources and environment at Jilin University in China. He joined the group in Fall 2018.


Master's Student

Mackenzie Bowden (

Mackenzie received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Villanova in 2018 and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Sustainable Engineering. She joined the group in 2020 after returning from a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Indonesia. Her current work focuses on analyzing the efficiency of pyrogenic carbonaceous materials in hydrolyzing munitions constituent residues at environmentally-relevant pH. 

Group Alumni

Kai Ding, Ph.D student, Villanova University 

  • Graduate Researcher, 2015

Cory Byrnes, master student, Villanova University 

  • Undergraduate Researcher, 2015

Vincent Martino, master student, Marquette University 

  • Undergraduate Researcher, 2015

Cecily Wang, master student, Stanford University 

  • Undergraduate Researcher, 2016

Ting Chen, postdoctoral researcher, Guangdong GDH Water Company LLC., China 

  • Visiting Scholar, 2016

Michael Caggiano, undergraduate student, Villanova University 

  • Undergraduate Researcher, 2016

Minh Dang, undergraduate student, Villanova University

  • Undergraduate Researcher, 2018

Hanqing Zhao, Ph.D student, University Science and Technology of China

  • Visiting Scholar, 2018