University Collaborators

Peter F. Strom

Environmental Science
14 College Farm Road
New Brunswick, NJ   08901
tel: (732)932-9800 x 6216
fax: (732)932-8644


Peter F. Strom is a Professor of Environmental Science ( at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1980.  He has a B.S. in Physical Sciences from MIT (1971), and an M.S. (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) in Environmental Science from Rutgers.  He has been an Assistant Research Microbiologist at the Sanitary Engineering Research Lab, University of California at Berkeley, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University.  He teaches advanced graduate and undergraduate courses at Rutgers in Biological Waste Treatment and Hazardous Waste Management as well as introductory courses in Environmental Science.  His research has focused on the microbial ecology of the biological treatment of wastes.  This has included work on activated sludge and rotating biological contactors (RBCs) for wastewaters; nitrification in wastewater treatment; enhanced biological phosphorus removal; composting of municipal solid waste, sludges, and yard wastes; anaerobic biodegradation of plastics; bioremediation of oil, creosote, polychlorinated biphenyl, and trichloroethylene contaminated soils; biofiltration to remove contaminants from gas streams; and the rational application of genetic engineering in waste treatment.  He also has worked on surface water pollution issues, especially relating to nutrients.

Dr. Strom is a member of the Water Environment Federation (since 1975), American Society for Microbiology (1974), New Jersey Water Environment Association (1980), Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (1981), and International Association on Water (1986).  He has co-authored a textbook (Environmental Biology for Engineers and Scientists, by Vaccari, Strom and Alleman, Wiley Interscience, 2006) and over 250 scientific papers and presentations, and is co-recipient of two patents and two national awards: the Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal of the Water Environment Federation for research on the microbial ecology of activated sludge, and a National Recycling Congress Award for the Joyce Kilmer Regional Leaf Composting Facility in Middlesex County, NJ.  Locally, he was a winner of the 1996 Team Award for Excellence in Research at Cook College/NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, the NJWEA Operator Educator Award in 2001, and the Teaching Excellence Award of 2002 for Cook College.  He was inducted as a member of the New Jersey Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers in 1997.  He also serves on the New Jersey EcoComplex Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Advisory Committee to NJ DEP.

Dr. Strom has been involved in a number of projects at the EcoComplex over the years.  Initially this included work with Dr. Harry Janes and numerous collaborators (e.g., Drs. Robert Cowan, John Hogan, Mel Finstein) and students (e.g., Drs. Jitendra Joshi, Jyoti Tambwekar, Javier Ramirez, Feng Qiao) on NASA-funded advanced life support systems for a future Mars base - developing biofilters for air pollution control and composting and other systems for management of solid wastes.  Working in collaboration with Dr. Uta Krogmann and Dr. Ramirez, another project looked at composting of excess cranberry fruit and horse manure at a field test site located at the EcoComplex (Fig. 1).  With Dr. Krogmann and graduate student Ross Hull, another project (supported by Burlington County and NJDEP) looked at the characteristics of materials mined from a landfill (Fig. 2).  Dr. Matin Chowdhury completed a portion of his Ph.D. work on nonpoint source water pollution from nurseries (Fig. 3) using the EcoComplex laboratories (collaborators included Dr. Christopher Obropta and James Johnson).  Most recently in a project supported by a consortium of counties and private companies, again in collaboration with Dr. Krogmann, graduate student Ching-Ling Tsai has been studying glass cullet and its potential water pollution impacts and their mitigation at an EcoComplex field test site (Fig. 4).

Selected Publications related to EcoComplex Projects

Ramirez-Perez, J.C., P.F. Strom, and U. Krogmann.  2007.  Horse Manure and Cranberry Fruit Composting Kinetics and Measures of Stability.  Compost Science & Utilization 15: 200-214.

Strom, P.F.  2007.  Technologies to Remove Phosphorus from Wastewater.  New Jersey Effluents 40(4):31-35.

Chowdhury, M., C.C.Obropta, & P.F. Strom.  2005.  Nonpoint Source Phosphorus Contribution from Nurseries in the Upper Cohansey Watershed, New Jersey.  Water Environment Federation Specialty Conference, TMDL 2005, Philadelphia, Paper 1F.

Hull, R.M., U. Krogmann, & P.F. Strom.  2005.  Composition and Characteristics of Excavated Materials from a New Jersey Landfill.  J. Environmental Engineering 131:478-490.

Chowdhury, M., C.C.Obropta, P.F. Strom, J.R. Johnson, and L. Rera.  2004.  Upper Cohansey Watershed Management Project.  Final Report to Cumberland Soil Conservation District, Deerfield, NJ.  45 pp.

Krogmann, U., R.M. Hull, & P.F. Strom.  2003.  Characterization of Materials “Mined” from the Burlington County Landfill.  Final Report to NJDEP.

Sakano, Y., K.D. Pickering, P.F. Strom, & L.J. Kerkhof.  2002.  Spatial Distribution of Total, Ammonia Oxidizing, and Denitrifying Bacteria in Biological Wastewater Treatment Reactors for Bioregenerative Life Support.  Applied & Environmental Microbiology 68:2285-2293.

Hull, R.M., U. Krogmann, & P.F. Strom.  2002.  Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Excavated from a Landfill.  Proceedings, 34th Mid-Atlantic Industrial & Hazardous Waste Conference, New Brunswick, NJ.

R .M. Cowan, J. A. Hogan, & P. F. Strom.  2001.  Development of Biological Reactors for Trace Air Contaminant Control.  Proceedings, Bioastronautics Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, No. 156.

Hull, R.M., U. Krogmann, & P.F. Strom.  2001.  Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Reclaimed from a Landfill.  Proceedings, 8th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, Sardinia.

Hogan, J.A., J.C. Ramirez Perez, W. Lertsiriyothin, P.F. Strom, and R.M. Cowan.  2001.  Integration of composting, plant growth and biofiltration for Advance Life Support Systems.  ICES SAE Technical Paper #01-2211, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.

Joshi, J.A., J.A. Hogan, R.M. Cowan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein.  2000.  Biological Removal of Gaseous Ammonia in Biofilters: Space Travel and Earth-Based Applications.  J. Air & Waste Management Assoc. 50:1647-1654.

Finstein, M.S., P.F. Strom, J.A. Hogan, & R.M. Cowan.  1999.  Composting on Mars or the Moon: I: Comparative Evaluation of Process Design Alternatives.  Life Support & Biosphere Science 6:169-179.

Finstein, M.S., J.A. Hogan, J.C. Sager, R.M. Cowan, & P.F. Strom.  1999.  Composting on Mars or the Moon: II: Compatibility of Top-wise Introduction of Waste and Air with Temperature Feedback Control.  Life Support & Biosphere Science 6:181-191.

Hogan, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein.  1998.  On the Development of Advanced Life Support Systems Maximally Reliant on Biological Systems.  ICES SAE Technical Paper #981535, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.

Joshi, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Hogan, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein.  1998.  Gaseous Ammonia Removal in Biofilters: Effect of Biofilter Media on Products of Nitrification.  ICES SAE Technical Paper #981613, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.

Tambwekar, J.A., R.M. Cowan, J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein.  1998.  Removal of Trace Concentrations of Ethylene from Air by Biofiltration: Preliminary Results.  ICES SAE Technical Paper #981614, SAE, Inc., Warrendale, PA.

Cowan, R.M., J.A. Joshi, P.F. Strom, & M.S. Finstein.  1997.  Biological Processes for Air Trace Contaminant Control in ALS.  International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) SAE Technical Paper #972552, Society of Automotive