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


  • Chunga, R., Jenkins, M.W., Ensink, J., and Brown, J. 2016. Adopt or adapt: sanitation technology choices in urbanizing Malawi. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0161262. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161262
  • ​Brown, J., Hamoudi, A., Jeuland, M., and Turrini, G. Seeing, believing, and behaving: Heterogeneous effects of an information intervention on household water treatment. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2016.08.005.
  • Marois-Fiset, J.T., Shaheed, A., Brown, J., and Dorea, C.C. Laboratory evaluation of a new coagulant/disinfectant point-of-use water treatment product. Journal of Applied Microbiology 121(3): 892-902. doi: 10.1111/jam.13206.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Enhanced ceramic filter for drinking water treatment; J BROWN, M SOBSEY - WO Patent 2,006,128,187, 2006