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Joe Brown

Brief Biography: 

Joe Brown is an assistant professor in environmental engineering.  Brown comes to Georgia Tech from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he served as a lecturer in the Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.  Brown’s research and teaching interests are at the intersection of environmental engineering and public health, including water infrastructure sustainability, detection methods for pathogens and pathogen indicators in the environment, water treatment technology characterization and innovation, and human health effects of exposure to waterborne pathogens.  His globally focused work currently spans four continents including active research projects in Cambodia, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Pakistan, India, the United Kingdom, and the Southeastern USA.  He serves as PI on a USAID-funded project to study health impacts of urban sanitation expansion in Mozambique.  He is a Professional Engineer (PE) with licensure in North Carolina and Alabama.

Last Name: 
Brown
Office Building: 
Ford ES&T
Reports: 
Brown, J. and Chunga, R. When Pits Fill Up: Sanitation Technology Adoption and Adaptation in Urban Malawi. Water and Health Conference 2015: Where Science Meets Policy, Chapel Hill, NC.
Brown, J. and Loo, A. Crowdsourcing Water Quality Data Using Low-Cost Quantal E. coli Tests with Ambient-Temperature Incubation. Water and Health Conference 2015: Where Science Meets Policy, Chapel Hill, NC.
Brown, J. and Shaheed, A. A Multi-Site, Mixed-Methods Crossover Trial of Adherence to Point-of-Use Water Treatment in Post-Emergency Settings. Water and Health Conference 2015: Where Science Meets Policy, Chapel Hill, NC.
Brown, J. and Cumming, O. MapSan: Measuring Health Impacts of Urban Sanitation in Maputo. Water and Health Conference 2015: Where Science Meets Policy, Chapel Hill, NC. Session organizer.
Brown, J. Unknown knowns: measuring sanitation’s health impacts. International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, 25 August 2015.
Brown, J., Jeandron, A., Cavill, S., and Cumming, O. 2012. Evidence Review and Research Priorities: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Emergency Response. UK Department for International Development (DfID) commissioned review/monograph. SHARE Consortium.
Cairncross, S., Baker, S., Brown, J., Cavill, S., Cumming, O., Ensink, J., Rheingans, R., and Schmidt, W.P. 2011. Evidence Paper: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. UK Department for International Development (DfID) commissioned review/monograph. SHARE Consortium.
Brown, J., Sobsey, M., and Proum, S. 2007. Use of Ceramic Water Filters in Cambodia. Washington, DC: WSP-World Bank Field Note.
Awards: 
2009--Engineers Without Borders Faculty Mentoring Award, University of Alabama
2009--The Other Club Outstanding Faculty Award, University of Alabama
2008--International Water Association Global Small Project Innovation A
2008--International Water Association Project Innovation Award, Asia Region
Office #: 
3226, LAB: 3371
Affinity Group / Department: 
Environmental Engineering
Type: 
Faculty
Academic Faculty
Education: 
PhD, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
MPhil, Environment and Development, University of Cambridge
BS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alabama
First Name: 
Joe
Patents: 
Enhanced ceramic filter for drinking water treatment; J BROWN, M SOBSEY - WO Patent 2,006,128,187, 2006
Photo: 
Job Title: 
Assistant Professor
Research Interests: 
Water and sanitation infrastructure sustainability
Drinking water treatment
Engineering applications in underserved communities
Publications (Articles): 
Stauber, C.E., Wedgworth, J.C., Johnson, P., Olson, J.B., Ayers, T., Elliott, M., and Brown, J. 2016. Associations between self-reported gastrointestinal illness and water system characteristics in community water supplies in rural Alabama: a cross-sectional study. PLoS One
Mohamed, H., Clasen, T., Mussa, R., Malebo, H., Mbuligwe, S., and Brown, J. 2015. Microbiological effectiveness of household water treatment technologies in rural Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and International Health
Jeuland, M., Orgill, J., Shaheed, A.*, Revell, G., and Brown, J. 2015. A matter of good taste: Investigating preferences for in-house water treatment in peri-urban communities in Cambodia. Environment and Development Economics
Brown, J., Cumming, O., Bartram, J., Cairncross, S., Ensink, J., Holcomb, D., Kolsky, P., Knee, J.*, Liang, K., Liang, S., Nala, R., Norman, G., Rheingans, R., Stewart, J., Zavale, O., Zuin, V., Schmidt, W.P. 2015. A controlled, before-and-after trial of an urban sanitation intervention to reduce enteric infections in children: research protocol for the Maputo Sanitation (MapSan) study, Mozambique. BMJ-Open e008215 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008215
Wedgworth, J.C., Brown, J., Olson, J.B., Elliott, M., Grammer, P. and Stauber, C.E. 2015. Temporal heterogeneity of water quality from rural water supplies in Alabama. Journal of the American Water Works Association
Mohamed, H., Brown, J., Mussa, R., Clasen, T., Malebo, H.M., and Mbuligwe, S. 2015. Point of use chlorination of turbid water in Tanzania. Journal of Water and Health
Wedgworth, J.C., Brown, J., Johnson, P., Olson, J., Elliott, M., Forehand, R., and Stauber, C.E. 2014. Associations between perceptions of drinking water service delivery and measured drinking water quality in rural Alabama. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(7): 7376-7392.
Heijnen, M., Cumming, O., Peletz, R., Chan, G., Brown, J., Clasen, T. 2014. Shared sanitation: a systematic review. PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093300.
Presser, E., Simuyandi, M., Brown, J. 2014. The effects of storage time and temperature on recovery of salivary immunoglobulin A. American Journal of Human Biology doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22525.
Shaheed, A., Orgill, J., Montgomery, M., Jeuland, M., Brown, J. 2014. Why “improved” water sources are not always safe. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 92: 283-289. Article profiled widely in the popular press, including by the New Scientist.
Shaheed, A., Orgill, J., Ratana, C., Montgomery, M.A., Jeuland, M.A., Brown, J. 2014. Water quality risks of "improved" water sources: evidence from Cambodia. Tropical Medicine & International Health 19(2): 186-194.
Wedgworth, J.J. and Brown, J. 2014. Limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation in Alabama’s Black Belt: a cross-Sectional case study. Water Quality, Exposure and Health 5(2): 69-74.
Izenberg, M., Johns-Yost, O., Johnson, P.D., and Brown, J. 2014. Nocturnal convenience: the problem of securing universal sanitation access in Alabama’s Black Belt. Environmental Justice 6(6): 200-205.
Holman, E.J. and Brown, J. 2014. Safety of packaged water distribution limited by household recontamination in rural Cambodia. Journal of Water and Health 12(2): 343-347.
Bhathena, Z.P., Shrivastava, S., Londhe, P., and Brown, J. 2013. Microbiological performance of novel household water treatment devices in India. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 14(1): 91-98.
Orgill, J., Shaheed, A., Brown, J., Jeuland, M. 2013. Water quality perceptions and willingness to pay for clean water in peri-urban Cambodian communities. Journal of Water and Health 11(3): 489–506.
Brown, J., Cairncross, S., and Ensink, J. 2013. Sanitation, water and hygiene and child health: a critical review. Archives of Disease in Childhood 98(8):629-634. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2011-301528.
Brown, J., Hien, V.T., McMahan, L., Jenkins, M., Thie, L., Liang, K., Printy, E., and Sobsey, M. 2013. Relative benefits of on-plot water supply over other “improved” sources in rural Vietnam. Tropical Medicine and International Health 18(1): 65-74. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12010.
Brown, J., Ratana, C., Wang, A., and Sobsey, M. 2012. Microbiological effectiveness of mineral pot filters in Cambodia. Environmental Science and Technology 46(21): 12055-12061. doi: 10.1021/es3027852.
Brown, J. and Clasen, T. 2012. High adherence is necessary to realize health gains from water quality interventions. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36735. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036735.
Brown, J., Cavill, S., Cumming, O., and Jeandron, A. 2012. Water, sanitation, and hygiene in emergencies: summary review and recommendations for further research. Waterlines 31(1&2): 11-29.
Brown, J. and Sobsey, M. 2012. Boiling as household water treatment in Cambodia: a longitudinal study of boiling practice and microbiological effectiveness. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 87(3): 394–398.
Özdemir, S., Elliott, M., Brown, J., Pham, N.K., Vo Thi, H., and Sobsey, M.D. 2011. Practices, preferences and attitudes for rainwater harvesting in Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Journal of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for Development 1(3): 171-177.
Brown, J., Stauber, C., Murphy, J., Khan, A. Mu, T., Elliott, M., and Sobsey, M. 2011. Ambient temperature incubation for the field detection of E. coli in drinking water. Journal of Applied Microbiology 110(4): 915-923.
Brown, J. and Sobsey, M. 2010. Microbiological effectiveness of locally produced ceramic filters for drinking water treatment in Cambodia. Journal of Water and Health 8(1): 1-10.
Brown, J. and Sobsey, M. 2009. Metal oxide amended ceramic media for the capture of viruses in drinking water. Environmental Technology 30(4): 379-391.
Brown, J., Proum, S., and Sobsey, M. 2009. Sustained use of a household-scale water filtration device in rural Cambodia. Journal of Water and Health 7(3): 404-411.
Sobsey, M.D., Stauber, C.E., Casanova, L.M., Brown, J., and Elliott, M.A. 2008. Point of use household drinking water filtration: a practical, effective solution for providing access to safe drinking water in the developing world. Environmental Science and Technology 42: 4261-4267.
Sobsey, M.D., Stauber, C.E., Casanova, L.M., Brown, J., and Elliott, M.A. 2008. Response to Comment on “Point of Use Household Drinking Water Filtration: A Practical, Effective Solution for Providing Sustained Access to Safe Drinking Water in the Developing World”. Environmental Science & Technology 43 (3), 970-971.
Brown, J., Sobsey, M., and Loomis, D. 2008. Drinking water filters reduce diarrheal disease in Cambodia: a randomized, controlled trial of locally made ceramic filters. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 79(3): 394-400.
Brown, J., Proum, S. and Sobsey, M. 2008. E. coli in household drinking water and diarrheal disease risk: evidence from Cambodia. Water Science and Technology 58(4): 757-763.
Brown, J., Sobsey, M., and Proum, S. 2007. Use of Ceramic Water Filters in Cambodia. Washington, DC: WSP-World Bank Field Note.
Clasen, T., Brown, J., Collin, S. 2006. Preventing diarrhoea with household ceramic water filters: assessment of a pilot project in Bolivia. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 16(3):231-239.
Clasen, T., Brown, J., Collin, S., Suntura, O., and Cairncross, S. 2004. Reducing diarrhea through the use of household-based ceramic water filters: a randomized, controlled trial in rural Bolivia. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 70(6): 651-657.
Clasen, T., Brown, J., Suntura, O. and Collin, S. 2004. Tratamiento casero de agua con filtros de cerámica por goteo. Caudal Revista Sectoral de Agua y Saneamiento 4: 20-22.
Clasen, T., Brown, J., Suntura, O., and Collin, S. 2004. Safe household water treatment and storage using ceramic drip filters: a randomized controlled trial in Bolivia. Water Science and Technology 50(1):111-115.
Johnson, P., Watson, M., Brown, J., Jefcoat, I.A. 2002. Peanut hull pellets as a single use sorbent for the capture of Cu (II) from wastewater. Waste Management 22(5): 471-480.
Brown, P., Brown, J., and Allen, S. 2001. The application of kudzu as a medium for the adsorption of heavy metals from dilute aqueous wastestreams. Bioresource Technology 78:195-201.
Brown, J. 2000. Kudzu as a medium for the adsorption of heavy metals in dilute aqueous wastestreams, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management 4:82-87.
Presentations: 
Brown, J. The Maputo Sanitation trial. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 4 August. Invited talk.
Brown, J. Small water supplies under the microscope. Indian Water Works Association. Nagpur, India. 9 July. Invited talk.
Brown, J. Small water supplies under the microscope: water infrastructure sustainability, water quality, and health. Chinese-American Frontiers of Engineering, National Academy of Engineering. 2 June.
Brown, J. Low cost ceramic filters for drinking water treatment. Yale University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 29 January. Invited seminar.
2014--Brown, J. Sanitation and health in urban Maputo, Mozambique. Emory University, Center for Global Safe Water and Rollins School of Public Health. Invited seminar. April 18.
2013--Brown, J. Small water supplies under the microscope. 10th CECIA-IAUPR Biennial Symposium on Potable Water Issues in Puerto Rico: Science, Technology and Regulation, Concurrently celebrated with the XI PR AIDIS Congress on Sanitary and Environmental Engineering. February 28.
2013--Brown, J. Small water supplies under the microscope: case studies from Alabama and Vietnam. UNC Global Research Institute Symposium. 29 March. Invited seminar.
Publications (Books): 
Brown, J., Cavill, S., Cumming, O., and Jeandron, A. 2015. Water, sanitation, and hygiene in emergencies. Chapter in: Richard Carter (ed.) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Humanitarian Contexts: Reflections on current practice. London: Practical Action Publishing. ISBN 9781853398841.
Brown, J. and Grammer, P.* 2015. ‘Indicators of microbial quality’, in Bartram, J., with Baum, R., Coclanis, P.A., Gute, D. M., Kay, D., McFayden, S., Pond, K., Robertson, W. and Rouse, M.J. (eds) Routledge Handbook of Water and Health. London and New York: Routledge.
Sobsey, M., and Brown, J. 2011. Evaluating household water treatment options: health-based targets and performance specifications. Geneva: World Health Organization. ISBN: 978 92 4 154822 9.
Brown, J., Outlaw, T., Clasen, T., Wu, J., and Sobsey, M. 2009. Safe Water for All: Harnessing the Private Sector to Reach the Underserved. Washington, D.C.: World Bank/International Finance Corporation.
Phone: 
404-385-4579
2014--Global Alumni Mentor, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
2012--Fellow, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Global Research Institute
2010--Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research, New Investigator Award, NIH
Address: 

311 Ferst Drive

Interdisciplinary Research Area(s): 
Sustainable Communities