Heileen Hsu-Kim

Image of Heileen Hsu-Kim

Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor Heileen (Helen) Hsu-Kim is an environmental engineer who specialized in aquatic chemistry and geochemistry. Her research tackles problems related to environmental pollutants and the biogeochemical processes that alter their distribution in water, soil, and air. Her work was applied to a diverse array of topics, including environmental remediation, the impacts of energy production on water resources, global environmental health, and the environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology.

Dr. Hsu-Kim's current research projects are focused on mercury biogeochemistry, the environmental implications of nanomaterials, and the impacts of coal ash disposal and coal mining on water quality. A central theme to her work is the utilization of chemical speciation for understanding and predicting the persistence, mobility and bioavailability of metals and minerals in the aquatic environment.

The methodologies her group employs for this research include laboratory techniques for quantifying trace metal speciation, water-surface interactions, and in-situ applications of solid-state microelectrodes to determine important aquatic constituents in water and sediment.

Appointments and Affiliations
  • Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Assistant Professor
Contact Information:
  • Office Location: 127A Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5109
  • Email Address: hsukim@duke.edu
  • Web Page:
Education:

  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley, 2004
  • M.S. University of California at Berkeley, 1999
  • B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998

Research Interests:

Aquatic chemistry and geochemistry, trace element environmental chemistry, nanogeoscience, mercury biogeochemistry, water-particle surface processes.

Specialties:

Water, Resources and Treatment
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Impacts

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2012
  • Early Career Research Award, Department of Energy, Office of Science, 2011
  • NSF Ridge 2000 Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2004
  • ACS Environmental Chemistry Division Graduate Student Paper Award, 2003
  • UC-Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, 2000
  • National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Student Fellowship, 1998-2004
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 1998

Courses Taught:
  • CEE 461L: Chemical Principles in Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 490: Special Topics in Civil Engineering
  • CEE 491: Projects in Civil Engineering
  • CEE 492: Projects in Civil Engineering
  • CEE 561L: Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
  • CEE 666: Aquatic Geochemistry
  • CEE 890: Special Readings in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • ENVIRON 542L: Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
  • ENVIRON 666: Aquatic Geochemistry

Representative Publications: (More Publications)
    • Ticknor, JL; Hsu-Kim, H; Deshusses, MA, A robust framework to predict mercury speciation in combustion flue gases., Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol 264 (2014), pp. 380-385 [10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.10.052] [abs].
    • Hsu-Kim, H; Kucharzyk, KH; Zhang, T; Deshusses, MA, Mechanisms regulating mercury bioavailability for methylating microorganisms in the aquatic environment: a critical review., Environmental Science and Technology (Washington), vol 47 no. 6 (2013), pp. 2441-2456 [10.1021/es304370g] [abs].
    • Deonarine, A; Bartov, G; Johnson, TM; Ruhl, L; Vengosh, A; Hsu-Kim, H, Environmental impacts of the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston coal ash spill. 2. Effect of coal ash on methylmercury in historically contaminated river sediments., Environmental Science and Technology (Washington), vol 47 no. 4 (2013), pp. 2100-2108 [10.1021/es303639d] [abs].
    • Bartov, G; Deonarine, A; Johnson, TM; Ruhl, L; Vengosh, A; Hsu-Kim, H, Environmental impacts of the Tennessee Valley Authority Kingston coal ash spill. 1. Source apportionment using mercury stable isotopes., Environmental Science and Technology (Washington), vol 47 no. 4 (2013), pp. 2092-2099 [10.1021/es303111p] [abs].
    • Hagan, N; Robins, N; Hsu-Kim, H; Halabi, S; Espinoza Gonzales, RD; Richter, DD; Vandenberg, J, Residential mercury contamination in adobe brick homes in Huancavelica, Peru., PLoS One, vol 8 no. 9 (2013) [10.1371/journal.pone.0075179] [abs].