My research focuses on the interface between hydrology, environmental engineering, and environmental health. I apply my strong foundations in physics, mathematics, computational methods, and engineering towards solving problems pertaining to the movement of water, pollutants, and energy in the environment, and ultimately to human health. Recent and current research projects include the following: effects of bacterial chemotaxis on contaminant degradation; colloid and pathogen transport in subsurface environments and water filters; spreading of antibiotic resistance in poultry-waste impacted soil; multi-fluid flow in porous media; enhanced geothermal systems; and chronic hydrocarbon releases at gas stations. I am interested in expanding my research on: 1. the environmental health effects of VOC releases to the atmospheric environment that during fuel transfer operations, e.g., at fuel dispensing facilities and gasoline distribution bulk terminals; 2. air quality measurement based on unmanned aerial vehicles; and 3. pathogen transport in soil and groundwater. My research interests require interdisciplinary solution approaches, and in particular collaboration between engineering and public health. If you have a background in environmental fluid mechanics & pollutant transport, environmental epidemiology, risk assessment, or in other relevant disciplines and if you are interested in joining the team, please send me an email.
Faculty, Columbia Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan
Faculty, Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Research Associate , Earth Engineering Center
Honors & Awards
Editor's Highlight in Water Resources Research: New way of thinking about a classical problem in environmental and water resources engineering (2017)
Invited talk, Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media (2012)
Award for Excellence in Manuscript Review for the Vadose Zone Journal by the Soil Science Society of America (2004)
Invited talk, Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media (2004)
German Academic Exchange Service Post-doctoral Scholarship (1997-1998)
Areas of Expertise
Select Urban Health Activities
Select Global Activities
Hilpert, M., A.Rasmuson, A., and W.P. Johnson (2017). A binomial modeling approach for upscaling colloid transport under unfavorable conditions: organic prediction of extended tailing. Water Resources Research 53: 5626-5644.
Adria Mora, B., and M. Hilpert (2017). Differences in infiltration and evaporation of diesel and gasoline droplets spilled onto concrete pavement. Sustainability. DOI: 10.3390/su9071271
Hilpert, M., B.D. Marsh, and P.A. Geiser (2016). The Radiator-Enhanced Geothermal System: Benefits of emulating a natural hydrothermal system. Interpretation. In press.
Hilpert, M., B. Adria-Mora, J. Ni, Ana Rule, and K. Nachman (2015). Hydrocarbon release during fuel storage and transfer at gas stations: environmental and health effects. Current Environmental Health Reports 2: 412-422. View paper
Hsu, S.-Y., and M. Hilpert (2015). Pore-scale visualization of the mobilization of a partially wetting droplet. Advances in Water Resources. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.08.004. View paper
Hilpert, M., and P.N. Breysse (2014). Infiltration and evaporation of small hydrocarbon spills at gas stations. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.08.004 View paper
Yan, Z., E.J. Bouwer, and M. Hilpert (2014). Coupled effects of chemotaxis and growth on traveling bacterial waves. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 164: 138-152. View paper
Yan, Z., and M. Hilpert (2014). A multiple-relaxation-time lattice-Boltzmann model for bacterial chemotaxis: Effects of initial concentration, diffusion, and hydrodynamic dispersion on traveling bacterial bands. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. DOI: 10.1007/s11538-014-0020-1 View paper
You, Y., M. Hilpert and M. Ward (2013): Identification of Tet45, a tetracycline efflux pump, from a poultry-litter exposed soil isolate and persistence of tet(45) in the soil. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt127. View paper
Johnson, W.P. and M. Hilpert (2013). Upscaling colloid transport and retention under unfavorable conditions: linking mass transfer to pore and grain topology. Water Resources Research. doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20433. View paper