Department of Mechanical and Enviromental Engineering
Professor Keller's research and teaching interests focus on the fate, transport and remediation of pollutants in the environment. His research is directed towards understanding the process through which contaminants may accumulate or transform in soil, air or water, as well as in the biota, with an emphasis on developing better management strategies for dealing with pollutants in the environment. His group also works on developing and applying numerical models for predicting fate and transport of pollutants, and developing technologies for containment, remediation, and monitoring of organic pollutants. Current projects involve (1) developing remediation techniques/strategies for DNAPLs and MTBE; (2) the detection and movement of chlorinated organic pollutants through soil and groundwater; (3) understanding at the pore scale the fate and transport of viruses in saturated and unsaturated soils; (4) bioavailability in the vadose zone; and (5) the loading of chemicals from various land-uses to the receiving water bodies. Keller has fifteen years of experience in developing management strategies in the private sector which he brings to the program.
Arturo A. Keller spent 11 years in industry, both chemical and textile, designing processes to treat or reduce waste streams, before he decided to go back to school at Stanford to get his Ph.D. in environmental engineering. Now, in addition to teaching, which he loves, he spends his days "probing into the sources of pollution and what we can do about them. My current research is dedicated to understanding the movement of pollutants in the environment (air, soil and water), and how we can best reduce the likelihood of contamination, and risks -- both human and ecological -- through various management strategies," says Keller. He recently completed a study of a gasoline additive (MTBE) used to improve combustion and thus achieve air quality objectives, but which had a negative impact on water resources. The study's recommendations were presented to the legislature and governor, resulting in the banning of the additive.