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Faculty Experts

Joseph Hughes

Joseph Hughes, PhD

Distinguished University Professor, Director, A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment

College of Engineering

Hughes is the former dean of the College of Engineering and founding director of the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment. His background is in biological processes and applications of nanotechnology in environmental systems. He has commented on stories related to the economic and environmental effects of the energy industry. Hughes is also a founding director of Drexel's Peace Engineering program, which prepares engineers to work for peace in conflict zones.

Before coming to Drexel in 2012, he served as a professor of civil, environmental and materials science engineering at Georgia Tech. His research focuses on environmental biotechnology and in particular, determining how novel metabolic capabilities of living organisms can be harnessed to improve environmental quality.

More information about Hughes

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


In the News

  • Philly's Biggest Polluters are its Buildings, Report Says

    Joseph Hughes, PhD, dean of the College of Engineering and founding director of Drexel's Institute for Energy and the Environment, was quoted in a Nov. 5 Philly Voice article about a feasibility report prepared by the Institute for Philadelphia on the possibility of making deep reductions in the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. He was also mentioned in a Nov. 6 story about Philadelphia’s potential for growth as an energy hub.

  • University Technology Program Launched to Give Peace a Chance

    Joseph Hughes, PhD, dean of the College of Engineering, and undergraduate engineering students Tristan Leung and Dagmawi Mulugeta were quoted in an Aug. 7 CIO magazine story about Drexel’s partnership with PeaceTech Lab and the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

  • Drexel partners to graduate 'peace engineers'

    President John Fry and Joseph Hughes, PhD, dean of the College of Engineering, were quoted in a July 27 blog post about Drexel’s new partnership with the U.S. Institute of Peace’s non-profit arm, PeaceTech Lab. 


  • Joseph B. Hughes Named Dean of Drexel College of Engineering

    The appointment of Dr. Joseph B. Hughes as Dean of the College of Engineering was highlighted in a Philadelphia Business Journal article.

Related Articles

  • Peace Engineering

    Teaching Engineers How to Build Peace

    Drexel and PeaceTech Lab, a nonprofit organization headquartered at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., have created a master’s degree for engineers who want to contribute to the prevention of crises around the world. It launches this fall.

  • Philadelphia power plant

    A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment Plots a Course for Philadelphia to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Researchers from the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment issued a 97-page report to the City of Philadelphia that plots a detailed course for how the city can reduce its emission of greenhouse gasses—with the goal of an 80 percent reduction by the year 2050. Among its suggestions are retrofitting hospitals, grocery stores, schools and retail stores with better windows and insulation; drawing electricity from low-carbon sources like nuclear, wind and solar power; and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, public transportation, walking and cycling.

  • PeaceTech Lab

    Engineering Peace: Drexel Joins PeaceTech Lab in Global Mission to Use Technology for Resolving Conflicts

    Drexel University engineering researchers and students are joining an international effort led by PeaceTech Lab, a non-profit entity launched by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), to prepare the next generation of humanitarian engineers. The PeaceTech Lab’s Young Engineers Program seeks to use the skills of talented young technologists in service of communities in conflict zones around the world who are seeking to create a sustainable peace. 

  • 3101 Market Drexel

    Institute for Energy and the Environment Seed Grants

    Reducing carbon emissions, improving efficiency of the power grid and using ultrasound to treat contaminated water are just a few of the research goals being pursued by the first round of projects funded by the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment. In all six projects received seed funding totaling $270,000 to investigate topics related to environmental protection and sustainability.

  • A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment

    Drexel Opens A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment

    Drexel University is opening a new research institute that will strive to answer some of the most challenging questions about energy and environmental sustainability facing the nation today.