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Faculty Experts

Franco Montalto

Franco Montalto, PhD

Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering

College of Engineering

Montalto directs the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Laboratory in Drexel's College of Engineering and he also serves as the director for the Northeast hub of the Urban Climate Change Research Network. He is an civil/environmental engineer and hydrologist with a background in applied and theoretical approaches to solving complex environmental problems. His research focuses on the development of ecologically, economically and socially sensible solutions to urban environmental problems with a focus on sustainable water resource engineering.

He has more than 20 years of experience in eco-hydrological research, planning and design projects. Some of them include the restoration of wetlands, the use of constructed wetlands for wastewater and stormwater treatment, construction of green infrastructure and creating low-impact development technologies.

More information about Montalto 

Related from the Drexel News Blog

For news media inquiries, contact Britt Faulstick at bef29@drexel.edu, 215.895.2617 (office) or 215.796.5161 (cell).

In the News

  • Harvey-Level Damage Probably Won’t Happen in Philadelphia, but Intense Flooding Already Does

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in a Sept. 1 Plan Philly story about how rising waters and paving over wetlands could impact Philadelphia.

  • Trump Revokes Obama Order Protecting Infrastructure Projects from Climate Impacts

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in an Aug. 16 NPR StateImpact story about the president’s executive order to roll back building standards in areas susceptible to flooding.

  • Swift Reaction from Pa., N.J. Leaders as Trump Pulls Out of Paris Accord

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in June 1 Philadelphia Inquirer and WCAU-TV (NBC-10) stories about local municipalities reacting to the president’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

  • Can Italian Design Students Solve Philly Neighborhood's Flooding?

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in a May 31 Philadelphia Inquirer story about a research exchange program he leads that brought Italian students from a design school in Venice to Philadelphia to help develop solutions for persistent flooding in the city's Eastwick section.

  • Researchers and Residents Explore Ways Eastwick Floods and Ideas for Mitigation

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in a May 19 Plan Philly story about his work with the Consortium for Climate Research in the Urban Northeast, to look at climate resiliency solutions for the Eastwick area of Philadelphia which has been particularly vulnerable to flooding for many years.


  • Pennsylvania Academics Find Inspiration at Climate Conference

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in a Nov. 21 NPR StateImpact story about his recent trip to the U.N. climate change conference in Morocco with area researchers and students.


  • Should We Use Recycled Rainwater to Flush Toilets?

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Sustainable Water Resource Laboratory, was quoted in a Discovery News story on March 10 about using recycled rainwater to flush toilets. 

  • Drexel Study: Why Philly Should Use Rainwater to Flush Toilets Read

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Sustainable Water Resource Laboratory, was quoted in Philadelphia magazine and Treehugger.com stories March 8 about his research on recycling rainwater in urban areas.

  • Researchers Call For Urban Toilets To Be Flushed With Rainwater

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Laboratory, was quoted in March 7 stories by UPI, Gizmodo and the Green Optimistic blog, about his research on recycling stormwater in urban areas.

  • A Project That’s Literally for the Birds

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in a July 22 Wall Street Journal article for his work with Drexel students on the Javits Center’s new green roof.

  • Phila. Roofs are Sprouting Greenery

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was mentioned in an April 22 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the growing popularity of green roofs in Philadelphia.

  • High-Tech Woods in Queens Help U.S. Monitor Urban Ecology

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, and Lauren Smalls-Mantey, a doctoral student in the College of Engineering, were quoted in a Dec. 2 New York Times story about Drexel’s collaborative research with the U.S. Forest Service and New York City Parks Department to study urban ecology.

  • Raising the roof

    Franco Montalto, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, was quoted in an Oct. 15 New York Daily News story about research he’s doing to monitor the efficacy of a green roof installed on the Jacob Javits Center in New York City –the second largest green roof in the country.

  • New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

    Dr. Franco Montalto, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, was interviewed in a National Public Radio story about how New York City is rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy and planning for future storms.

Related Articles

  • Dalton George presents findings from the global climate change conference.

    Climate Change Workshop Tackles Solutions to a Global Problem

    The students and faculty who attended COP22 spoke to an audience eager for an update on the international efforts to address the damage humans are doing to the environment.

  • The central corridor at the COP22 conference in Morocco.

    Climate Change Conference COP22 Energizes Drexel Faculty, Students

    A group of 10 students and professors went to Morocco in November for the annual gathering of government delegates and climate researchers. They came back refocused and reinvigorated.

  • climate change

    Urban Climate Change Research Hub Opens at Drexel

    In the battle to adapt to and mitigate climate change caused by humans, most environmental engineers and climate scientists agree that cities are the front line. Due to the sheer density of their population, and the quantity of resources they consume, cities have the potential to most quickly and significantly affect—and be affected by—climate risks. They also have the ability to integrate climate resiliency into their plans for the future, according to environmental engineering professor Franco Montalto, PhD, who will direct a network of North American climate change researchers concerting their efforts via a new hub at Drexel University. 

  • gutter

    Down the Drain: Here's Why We Should Use Rainwater to Flush Toilets

    If you live in one of four major U.S. cities chances are you’re letting the benefits of a ubiquitous natural resource go right down the drain — when it could be used to cut down your water bill. Research by a team of Drexel University environmental engineers indicates that it rains enough in Philadelphia, New York, Seattle and Chicago that if homeowners had a way to collect and store the rain falling on their roofs, they could flush their toilets often without having to use a drop of municipal water.

  • Drexel researchers are helping Alley Pond park in New York City join the U.S. Forest Service's Smart Forest Network, in hopes of better understanding urban ecosystems.

    Drexel Helps New York City Park Plug Into Research

    Researchers at Drexel are teaming with the U.S. Forest Service and New York City's Parks and Recreation Department to monitor the second-largest park in Queens to measure how pollution and the climate affect forests.

  • Green Roof Javits Center

    In what is estimated to be one of the largest green retrofitting projects in U.S. history, a makeover of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is underway in New York City. The cost of the transformation is on the order of $463 million. While the effects that the green technology will have on the massive convention center and its surrounding environment are not yet known, they will, however, be closely monitored by a team of engineers from Drexel University and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.