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Mark A. Widdowson

Professor and Department Head

Mark A. Widdowson

Mark A. Widdowson, Professor and Department Head
220-A Patton Hall
Blacksburg, VA, USA 24061
Mail Code: (0105)

Program Area : Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
Professional Registration : South Carolina (PE)

Dr. Widdowson is the co-author and principal investigator of the solute transport code SEAM3D (Sequential Electron Acceptor Model, 3D Transport) and the decision-support tool NAS (Natural Attenuation Software). His research expertise includes mathematical modeling and experimental studies on the fate and transport of contaminants in soil, sediments and groundwater, including chlorinated solvents (PCE, TCE, vinyl chloride); chlorinated compounds (PCBs); petroleum hydrocarbons (benzene, BTEX, MTBE), coal tar and creosote (PAH compounds); inorganics (nitrate, nitrite); metals (arsenic).

Areas of Interest 

Groundwater resources, Fate and attenuation of contaminants in aquatic environments, Modeling and decision-support tools, Subsurface remediation including Natural Attenuation, Bioremediation, Phytoremediation.

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Auburn University
  • MS, Water Resources Engineering, University of Kansas
  • BSCE, Civil Engineering, University of Cincinnati
  • Samuel Arnold Greeley Award, ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute, 2011
  • College of Engineering Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2011
  • Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty, CEE Department, Virginia Tech, 1996
  • CEE 5774 : Hazardous Waste Management
  • CEE 3304 : Fluid Mechanics for CEE
  • CEE 4314 : Groundwater Resources
  • CEE 5374 : Dynamics of Groundwater
  • CEE 5354 : Numerical Modeling of Groundwater Flow and Transport
  • Verification of Methods for Assessing the Sustainability of Monitored Natural Attenuation (ESTCP)
  • Improved Field Evaluation of NAPL Dissolution and Source Longevity at the Former Williams AFB (ESTCP)
  • Bench Scale TNT Degradation Study, Groundwater Model and GIS Support
  • Impact of Petroleum Deposit Geometry on Biodegradation Potential and Long Term Persistence (NSF)
  • Hester, E.T.; Young, K.I.; Widdowson, M.A. Mixing of surface and groundwater induced by riverbed dunes: Implications for hyporheic zone definitions and pollutant reactions, Water. Resour. Res., 49, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20399, 2013.
  • Thomas, L.K.; Widdowson, M.A.; Chapelle, F.H.; Novak, J.T.; Boncal, J.E.; Lebron, C.A. Distribution of Potentially Bioavailable Natural Organic Carbon in Aquifer Sediments at a Chloroethene-Contaminated Site, ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(1), 54-60, 2013
  • Mobile, M.A.; Widdowson, M.A.; Gallagher, D.L. Multicomponent NAPL Source Dissolution: Evaluation of Mass-Transfer Coefficients, Environmental Science & Technology, 46(18), 10047-10054, 2012.
  • Singh, G.; Pruden, A.; Widdowson, M. Influence of petroleum deposit geometry on local gradient of electron acceptors and microbial catabolic potential, Environmental Science & Technology, 46(11), 5782-5788, 2012.
  • Chaplin, B.P., Schnobrich, M.R., Widdowson, M.A., Semmens, M.J., and Novak, P.J. "Stimulating in situ hydrogenotrophic denitrification with membrane-delivered hydrogen under passive and pumped groundwater conditions", ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering 135(8), 666-676, 2009.
  • Chapelle, F.H., J.T. Novak, J.C. Parker, B.B. Campbell and M.A. Widdowson. “A framework for assessing the sustainability of monitored natural attenuation”, accepted for publication by the U.S. Geological Survey Circular Series, C-1303, 2007.