Dr. Detlef Knappe has been named the S. James Ellen, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. He joined the NC State faculty in 1996.
Knappe has conducted research on water treatments for 25 years and is a recognized leader in the field. He is interested in drinking water quality and treatment, water reuse, organic micropollutants, development of water treatment processes for polar and persistent organic pollutants and the fate of organic pollutants in solid waste landfills. His current research efforts focus on developing and evaluating physical-chemical treatment processes for the control of disinfection byproduct precursors and trace organic compounds (taste and odor causing substances, carcinogenic volatile organic contaminants, 1,4-dioxane, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, endocrine disrupting chemicals, antibiotics and other pharmaceutically active compounds) and overcoming gaps between the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act by developing information about the effects of reactive and unregulated wastewater contaminants on drinking water quality and treatment.
He is a recipient of the NC State Outstanding Teacher Award, the Bill Horn Kimley-Horn Faculty Award for excellence in graduate and undergraduate teaching, and the Young Civil Engineer Achievement Award from the University of Illinois.
Knappe received his B.S. in civil engineering (1989), M.S. in environmental engineering (1991), and Ph.D. in environmental engineering (1996) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
S. James “Jim” Ellen Jr. graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a construction option in 1959. He is a Rocky Mount, NC, native who owns Capital Masonry, a commercial masonry contractor in Richmond, Va. His ties to NC State go back almost a century, with an uncle who graduated in the 1910s. His brothers Julius and William also received civil engineering-construction degrees from NC State.