Niyousha Mohammadshafie

Education: Niyousha received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 2015, where her undergraduate research was primarily focused on scaffold design for spinal cord recovery using stem cells. Niyousha then obtained her masters degree at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio in 2018.

PhD: In January 2019 Niyousha joined the Haig research group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh where she is excited to pursue her PhD. Within Prof. Haig’s research group Niyousha will study the drinking water microbiome and its role in human health by applying both traditional microbiology and cutting-edge research techniques.

Fun facts: Niyousha loves birds, books, research and sleep! 

Contact: and follow on Twitter - @MNiyousha 



Education: I completed my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH in the spring of 2019. During my studies, my research interests centered around water treatment where I worked on assessing the effects of wastewater disinfection on pharmaceutical degradation, implementing anaerobic wastewater treatment in a direct potable reuse train. My undergraduate thesis focused on enzyme immobilization and activity in Swellable Organically Modified Silica.

PhD: I started my studies as a PhD student in the Haig research group at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA, in Fall 2019. I hopes to study the effectiveness of using microbes to solve engineering problems, with my first project focusing on bio-concrete.




Education: I graduated in April 2019 with an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh . My research interests include water quality, water chemistry, water conservation and access, and the use of sustainable technologies in developing communities.

PhD: I starting my PhD in the Haig research group in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh in Fall 2019. Currently I am worked with Drs. Haig and Casson to study the efficacy of a new wastewater disinfectant.

Hobbies: Playing soccer, writing and performing poetry, and being a participant in the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.



Jenna Kuhn

Education: I completed my undergraduate degree in biology at Duquesne University, where I focused my research in an environmental microbiology lab. As an undergraduate, I assessed the microbial community of nonconventional hydraulic fracturing fluid and isolated a microorganism from a sample of produced water sample. I further pursued my Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from Duquesne, where I continued my research in an independent study collaboration with Lanxess Chemical Company. For this project, I assessed the effectiveness of commercially used biocides in fracking fluid on my microorganism isolated from produced water.

Ph.D: Currently, I am working on my Ph.D. in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health. My first semester rotation is a collaborative project with Drs. Haig and Ng on assessing the effects of PFAS molecules on the microbiome. 

Fun Facts: I enjoy being outdoors, summertime, reading, trying new foods, watching and playing sports, and am learning to paint! In the future, I would like to learn to make my own electronic music!