Faculty Profile


  • 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

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.


  • Water and sanitation infrastructure sustainability
  • Drinking water treatment
  • Engineering applications in underserved communities


  • 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
  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Enhanced ceramic filter for drinking water treatment; J BROWN, M SOBSEY - WO Patent 2,006,128,187, 2006