Loretta A. Fernandez

Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Professor,  Marine and Environmental Sciences



  • 473 Snell Engineering
  • 617.373.5461


  • 231 Egan Research Center

Research Focus

Environmental organic chemistry; passive sampling methods; transport and transformation of contaminants in built and natural environments


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010
  • SM, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005
  • BS, Northeastern University, 2002
  • BA, Tufts University, 1993

Honors & Awards

  • 2024 Diversity Recognition Award
  • 2022 College of Engineering Faculty Fellow
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) Project of the Year, Co-Performer (2011)
  • National Research Council, Research Associateship (2010)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
  • Tau Beta Pi

Research Overview

Environmental organic chemistry; passive sampling methods; transport and transformation of contaminants in built and natural environments

Selected Research Projects

Research Centers and Institutes


Coastal Sustainability Institute

Social Science Environmental Health Institute

Selected Publications

  • A.S. Joyce, L.A. Fernandez, R.M. Burgess, In Situ Investigation of Performance Reference Compound-Based Estimates of PCB Equilibrated Passive Sampler Concentrations and C free in the Marine Water Column, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 39(6), 2020, 1165-1173
  • A.V. Mueller, M.J. Eden, J.M. Oakes, C. Bellini, L.A. Fernandez, Quantitative Method for Comparative Assessment of Particle Removal Efficiency of Fabric Masks as Alternatives to Standard Surgical Masks for PPE, Matter, 3, 2020, 1-13
  • M.J. Benotti, L.A. Fernandez, G.F. Peaslee, G.S. Douglas, A.D. Uhler, S. Emsbo-Mattingly, A Forensic Approach for Indentifying PFAS Materials, Environmental Forensics,21(3-4), 2020, 319-333


Mar 21, 2024

Field Experts Discuss the Monitoring of Microplastics in the Massachusetts Bay

At a full-day workshop, CEE/MES Associate Professor Loretta Fernandez, and members of research organizations, academia, and industry discussed microplastics in local water systems and proposed solutions to prevent potential health impacts as the plastics degrade.


Mar 14, 2024

Assessing the Environmental Impact of Discarded Unexploded Ordnances

CEE/MES Associate Professor Loretta Fernandez explains the environmental risks of unexploded munitions and the toxic heavy metals they contain being left underwater. Lead and mercury, among other toxic chemicals, can leach into ocean water, ground water, and soil sediment. 


Feb 01, 2024

Faculty and Staff Awards 2024

The College of Engineering recognized faculty and staff at the annual faculty and staff awards event and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication in support of our students, college, and university during the 2023-2024 academic year. View award recipients and photo gallery.


Oct 25, 2023

Students Nominated for Prestigious Marshall and Rhodes Scholarships

Benjamin Lanava, E’24, environmental engineering, and Siddharth Simon, E’24, computer engineering/computer science, were nominated by Northeastern for the Marshall Scholarship and Lanava also for the Rhodes Scholarship. Both prestigious awards support study in the UK for those distinguished by their academic accomplishments, records of leadership, and drive to serve.


Apr 28, 2022

FY23 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 15 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY23 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 13 different projects.


Apr 15, 2022

Faculty and Staff Awards 2022

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2021-2022 academic school year.

Jan 03, 2022

Choosing the Best Mask with the Omicron Variant

CEE Assistant Professor Loretta Fernandez and ChE Associate Professor Steve Lustig provide insights into what combination of materials and fits make the best face masks.

In the Media

Feb 11, 2021

If double-masking is hurting your ears, try these tips to relieve the pain

CEE Associate Professor Loretta Fernandez was featured in the Washington Post article “If double-masking is hurting your ears, try these tips to relieve the pain” for her research into finding effective fitting masks.

zoomed in view of person with mask on


Feb 05, 2021

How to Wear 2 Masks Effectively

CEE Assistant Professor Loretta Fernandez and Amy Mueller explain how to best wear two masks effectively to keep out COVID-19 particles.

student in graduation attire sitting outside

Spotlight Story

Oct 02, 2020

PhD Spotlight: Alice Peiying Wang, PhD’19 – Civil Engineering

Advised by Loretta Fernandez, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, jointly appointed in Marine and Environmental Sciences in the College of Science While pursuing her PhD in Civil Engineering (CEE) at Northeastern University, Alice Peiying Wang worked closely with researchers at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ Environmental Research and Development Center (USACE ERDC). She […]

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