Kelsey Pieper

Assistant Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering
Affiliated Faculty,  School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs



  • 467 Snell Engineering Center

Research Focus

Applied environmental chemistry; corrosion; drinking water quality, treatment, and infrastructure; post-disaster drinking water recovery; public health engineering


  • PhD, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2011

Research Overview

Applied environmental chemistry; corrosion; drinking water quality, treatment, and infrastructure; post-disaster drinking water recovery; public health engineering

Selected Research Projects

College Research Initiatives

Selected Publications

  • Khaksar Fasaee, M.A., Berglund, E., Pieper, K.J., Ling, E., Benham, B., Edwards, M. (2021). Developing a Framework for Classifying Water Lead Levels at Private Drinking Water Systems: A Bayesian Belief Network Approach. Water Research, 189, 116641. 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116641
  • Pieper, K.J., Jones, C.N., Rhoads, W.J., Rome, M., Gholson, D.M., Katner, A., Boellstorff, D.E., Beighley, R.E. (2021). Microbial Contamination of Drinking Water Supplied Private Wells after Hurricane Harvey. Environmental Science and Technology, 55(12), 8382–8392. 10.1021/acs.est.0c07869
  • Wait, K. Katner, A., Gallagher, D., Edwards, M., Mize, W., Pow Jackson, C.L., Pieper, K.J. (2020). Disparities in Well Water Outreach and Assistance Offered by Local Health Departments: A North Carolina Case Study. Science of the Total Environment, 747, 141173. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141173
  • K.J. Pieper, W.J. Rhoads, L. Sauicer, A. Katner, J.R. Barrett, M. Edwards, Improving State-Level Emergency Well Disinfection Strategies in the United States, Science of the Total Environment, 720, 2020 137451
  • K. Mapili, K.J. Pieper, D. Dai, A. Pruden, M.A. Edwards, M. Tang, W.J. Rhoads, Legionella pneumophila Occurrence in Drinking Water Supplied By Private Wells, Letters in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 70(4), 2020, 232-240
  • K.J. Pieper, A. Katner, R. Kriss, M. Tang, M.A. Edwards Understanding Lead in Water and Avoidance Strategies: A United States Perspective for Informed Decision-Making, Journal of Water and Health, 17(4), 2019, 540-555
  • K.J. Pieper, M. Tang, C.N. Jones, S. Weiss, A. Greene, H. Mohsin, J. Parks, M.A. Edwards, Impact of Road Salt on Drinking Water Quality and Infrastructure Corrosion in Private Wells, Environmental Science & Technology, 52(24), 2018, 14078–14087
  • K.J. Pieper, M. Tang, M.A. Edwards, Flint Water Crisis caused by Interrupted Corrosion Control: Investigating “Ground Zero” Home, Environmental Science & Technology, 51(4), 2017, 2007–2014
Qi Wang and Kelsey Pieper


Aug 25, 2022

Ensuring Safe Supply to Drinking Water

CEE Associate Professor Ryan Qi Wang, Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper, and CSSH Professor Daniel Aldrich, in collaboration with the University of Virginia, are leading a $750k NSF grant for “Dynamical Coupling of Physical and Social Infrastructures: Evaluating the Impacts of Social Capital on Access to Safe Well Water.”

In the Media

Jun 08, 2022

Climate-driven Flooding Poses Well Water Contamination Risks

“Areas that hadn’t been impacted are now. New areas are getting flooded,” said Kelsey Pieper, a Northeastern University professor of environmental engineering. “We know the environment is shifting and we’re playing catch-up, trying to increase awareness.” (Featured in AP)


Jan 26, 2022

Ensuring Well Water is Safe to Drink

CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper is researching private wells, which serve about 15% of the US population, to determine if they have been contaminated after events like floods.

In the Media

Dec 21, 2021

Remote Sensing Could Predict Well Water Quality After Floods

CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper was featured in the EOS article “Remote Sensing Could Predict Well Water Quality After Floods,” with her research to help better inform disaster recovery efforts.

Kelsey Pieper with two students working outside on campus


Jun 02, 2021

Kelsey Pieper Named Gulf Research Program Inaugural Early-Career Research Fellow for New Human Health and Community Resilience Track

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program named CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper an inaugural member of their new Early-Career Research For New Human Health and Community Resilience track Fellowship.


Apr 20, 2021

FY22 TIER 1 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 17 COE faculty and affiliates who were recipients of FY22 TIER 1 Interdisciplinary Research Seed Grants for 11 different projects.


Feb 08, 2021

Spring 2021 PEAK Experience Recipients

Congratulations to the COE student recipients of the Spring 2021 PEAK Experiences Awards. The PEAK Experiences Awards are a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys. PEAK Experience Ascent Awardees Ryan Brady, COE’22, Chemical […]

illustration of mobile phone with covid on screen, faucet with covid in water, and covid in transportation as illustrated by railroad crossing sign


Sep 21, 2020

Civil and Environmental Engineering Solutions to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and its Industrial Advisory Board held a series of panel discussions entitled “Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) solutions addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

Ameet Pinto, Aron Stubbins, and Kelsey Pieper


May 18, 2020

Effects of COVID-19 on Water Supply Usage

CEE Assistant Professor Ameet Pinto, MES/COS/CEE Associate Professor Aron Stubbins, and CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper were awarded a $200K NSF RAPID grant for “Extreme water use patterns and their impact on the microbial and chemical ecology of drinking water.”

road salt


Feb 21, 2020

Road Salt Contaminating Unregulated Water Supplies

CEE Assistant Professor Kelsey Pieper is researching water contaminated with road salt in communities that use private wells, natural springs, and cisterns.

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