Environmental Engineering

Department of Environmental Engineering

Lucy M. Camacho

Associate Professor


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, New Mexico State University, USA, 2000 
  • M.S., Electrochemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany, 1988
  • B.S., Chemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany, 1987

Research Interests

Water Desalination; Membrane distillation, Electrodialysis metathesis, and other innovative technologies for water purification applications; novel adsorbent materials; sustainable wastewater reuse; recovery of nutrients from wastewater; water-energy-food nexus; rare earth elements recovery; graphene oxide and graphene membranes for water and fuel energy sustainability.

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, TAMUK (Environmental Engineering Dep.), 2019-Present
  • Assistant Professor, TAMUK (Environmental Engineering Dep.), 2013-2019
  • Research Assistant Professor, University of Texas at El Paso, 2010-2013
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, New Mexico State University, 2008-2010
  • Lecturer, Monterrey Tech, Ciudad Juárez, México, 2005-2008
  • Part-time College Assistant Professor, New Mexico State University, 2002-2003
  • Full time Faculty, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez, México, 2000-2002
  • Graduate Research Assistant, New Mexico State University, 1995-2000
  • Full time Faculty, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez, México, 1991-1995

Research Grants/Projects Awarded

  • PI, CBET: 2024 Membranes: Materials and Processes Gordon Research Conference and Seminar, National Science Foundation (NSF) (4/2024-3/2025)
  • PI, Collaborative Research: Dry-Wet Phase Inversion Pathway of Graphene Oxide (GO)-Based Mixed-Matrix Membranes for Mineral Ions Separation by Membrane Distillation, National Science Foundation (NSF) (8/2020-7/2024)
  • Co-PI (PI: TAMU) SRS RN: Integrated Food, Energy, Water Units for Disaster Resilient Sustainable Regional Systems, National Science Foundation (NSF)-TEES (10/01/2021-09/30/2023).
  • Co-PI (PI: TAMU), Deploying intensified, automated, mobile, operable, and novel designs “DIAMOND” for treating shale gas wastewater, DOE, AICHE-RAPID (9/2018-9/31/2022)
  • PI, MRI: Acquisition of a Liquid Chromatograph-Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopic Instrument (LC-ICP-MS) for Speciation of Metal Ions in the Environment, National Science Foundation (NSF) (9/2016-8/2020)
  • PI, Identifying saline water resources for treatment at the Rancho La Union®, The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Foundation (4/2018-9/2019)
  • PI, EAGER-SUSCHEM: Rare Earth Metals Recovery from Geothermal Waters using Novel Electrodialysis Metathesis Process, National Science Foundation (NSF) (2017-2019)
  • PI, Membrane distillation to augment RO desalination efficiency and reduce brine disposal on a brackish desalination plant, Phase I-III, El Paso Water (3/2017-9/2019)
  • PI, Ammonia and phosphorus removal from a wastewater treatment plant effluent, Phase I-IV, El Paso Water (3/2013-9/2019)
  • PI, Modeling the secondary treatment process under different solids removal scenarios in the primary treatment at the Roberto Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant, El Paso Water Utilities (9/2015-5/2016)
  • Co-PI (PI: TEES) Adding income to the unconventional revenue stream: recovering geothermal energy and strategic elements from hydrocarbon wells, (2/2016-1/2017)
  • Co-PI (PI: TAMUK), Field measurements and water quality sampling of wastewater effluents in the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Watershed for a binational synoptic water quality survey of the Lower Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, TCEQ (6/2014-7/2016)
  • PI, Desalination of high-salinity shale gas produced water by membrane distillation technology with waste heat recovery: a water-energy nexus system, TAMUK (12/2013, 12/2014)

Honors and Awards

  • TAMUK College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award, 2022
  • TEES Engineering Genesis (GE) Award, 2020
  • Sigma Xi Membership by Nomination, 2020
  • TAMUK, Recognition of Faculty for Outstanding Achievements, 2019
  • TAMUK, College of Eng., Nomination for Excellence in Research Award, 2018, 2019
  • AIChE, Best Paper Award, 2018
  • DOE Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E0) Research Award Nomination, 2018
  • NSF, Early Concept Grant for Exploratory Research-Sustainable Chemistry (EAGER-SUSCHEM) Award, 2017
  • NSF, Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Award, 2016
  • TAMUK. Sponsored Research Merit and Compliance (SRMCA) Award, 2016
  • TAMUK, National Organization for Women (NOW), Person of the Year Nomination, 2016
  • TAMUK, University Research Award, 2014

Patents (*student)

  1. Camacho, L.M. and Shafiq, M.U. (2024) Recovery of Rare Earth Metals and Other Metals from Natural Liquid Sources by Electrodialysis Metathesis. Patent No.: US 11,920, 250 B2, March 5, 2024

Sample Publications (*student)

  1. Camacho, L.M., Ponnusamy, S., Campos, I., Deng, S. (2022). Evaluation of novel activated alumina as regenerant sorbent for arsenic removal, 121-135; In: Elsevier Handbook of Arsenic Toxicology, 2st Edition, S. Flora, Academic Press-Elsevier. 
  2. Juybari, H. F., Nejati, S., Rezaei, M., Parmar, H., Alsaati, A.A., Swaminathan, J., Camacho, L.M., Warsinger, D.A. (2022) Performance of Membrane Distillation Technologies. In Volume III: “Advances in Water Desalination Technologies”. Ed. Cohen, Y., The World Scientific Reference of Water Science (Editor-in-Chief, M. Tirrel). Singapour: World Scientific. 
  3. Camacho, L.M., Pinion, T.A*., Olatunji, S.O*. (2020) Behavior of Mixed-Matrix Graphene Oxide – Polysulfone Membranes in the Process of Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Separation and Purification Technology, 240, 116645. 
  4. Oaltunji, S.O*. and Camacho, L.M. (2018) Heat and Mass Transport in Modeling Membrane Distillation Configurations: A review. Frontiers in Energy Research, 6, 130, 1-18. DOI: 10.3389/fenrg.2018.00130. 
  5. Camacho, L.M, Fox, J*., Ajedegba, J*. (2017) Optimization of Electrodialysis Camacho, L.M. and Tangri, N.* (2015) Desalination of simulated shale gas produced water by Membrane Distillation.  Proceedings of the International Desalination Association (IDA) World Congress; San Diego, California, Aug 30-Sep 04, 2015, Paper 15WC:51592. 
  6. Camacho, L.M., Ponnusamy, S., Campos, I., Davis, T., Deng, S. (2015) Evaluation of novel activated alumina as regenerant sorbent for arsenic removal.  In: Elsevier Handbook of Arsenic Toxicology, 1stEdition, S. Flora, Academic Press-Elsevier, 08 Jan 2015, 752 pp; Print Book ISBN: 9780124186880; eBook ISBN: 9780124199552. 
  7. Camacho, L.M., Ludovic Dumée, Jianhua Zhang, Jun-de Li, Mikel Duke, Juan Gomez, Stephen Gray (2013) Advances in Membrane Distillation for Water Desalination and Purification Applications. Water, 5, 94-196; doi:10.3390/w5010094. 
  8. Metathesis (EDM) Desalination using Factorial Design Methodology. Desalination, 403 136-143. 
  9. Sullivan, G.E.J., Baktian, N., Camacho, L.M., Chellam, S., Mroue, A., Sperling, J.B., Topolski, K., Xu, P. (2017) Energy for water and desalination, Curr. Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep., 4:109-116. 
  10. Gutierrez, M., Mickus, K., Camacho, L.M. (2016) Abandoned Pb-Zn mining wastes and their mobility as proxy to toxicity: a review. Science of the Total Environment, 565, 392-400. 
  11. Camacho, L.M., Deng, S, Torres, Arely (2012) Adsorption equilibrium and kinetics of fluoride on two synthetic zeolites. Environmental Research Journal, 6-3, 237-250. 
  12. Camacho, L.M., Deng, S, Torres, Arely (2012) Adsorption equilibrium and kinetics of fluoride on two synthetic zeolites. In: Zeolites: Synthesis, Chemistry and Applications, Moisey K. Andreyev and Olya L. Zubkov editors, Nova Science Publishers Inc, NY., ISBN: 978-1-61942-861-4, August 2012. 
  13. Yarlagadda, S., Gnaneswar, V., Camacho, L.M. (2011) Potable Water Recovery from As, U, and F Contaminated Ground Waters by Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Process. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 192, 1388-1394. 
  14. Camacho, L.M., Parra, R. R.; Deng, S. (2011) Arsenic Removal for Groundwater by MnO2-modified Natural Clinoptilolite Zeolite: Effects of pH and Initial Feed Concentration. Journal of Hazardous Material, 189, 286-293.   
  15. Camacho, L. M., Gutierrez, M. Alarcon, M.T., Villalba M. L. Deng, S. (2011) Occurrence and Treatment of Arsenic in Groundwater and Soil in Northern Mexico and Southwestern USA. Chemosphere, 83, 211-225.  
  16. Cortes, P., Deng, S., Camacho, L.M., Geoffrey, B., (2010) The adsorption properties of Bacillus atrophaeus spore on functionalized carbon nanotubes. Journal of Sensors, Volume 2010, Article ID 691585, 8 pages. DOI:10.1155/2010/691585. 
  17. Camacho, L.M., Torres, A., Saha, D., Deng, S. (2010) Adsorption equilibrium and kinetics of fluoride on sol-gel derived activated alumina adsorbents. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 349, 307-313. 
  18. Camacho, L.M., Deng, S., Parra, R. (2010). Uranium removal from groundwater by natural clinoptilolite zeolite: Effects of pH and feed concentration. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 175, 393-398. 
  19. Patil, P., Gnaneswar, V., Camacho, L.M., Deng, S.  (2010) Microwave-Assisted Catalytic Transesterification of Camelina Sativa Oil. Energy Fuels, 24, 1298-1304. 
  20. Yarlagadda, S., Camacho, L.M., Gnaneswar, V. Wei, Z., Deng., S. (2009) Membrane distillation for desalination and other separations. Recent Patents on Chemical Engineering, 2, 2 128-158. 
  21. Gutierrez, M., Alarcon-Herrera, M.T., Camacho, L.M. (2009) Geographical distribution of arsenic in sediments within the Rio Conchos Basin, Mexico. Environmental Geology, 57: 929-935. 

Professional Affiliations

Xigma Xi (By Nomination), North American Membrane Society (NAMS), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Chemical Society (ACS), Association of Environmental Engineers and Science Professor (AEESP), American Water Works Association (AWWA), American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA), Water Environmental Association of Texas (WEAT); Texas Desalination Association (TDA). 


Gordon Research Conference (GRC) – Membranes: Materials and Processes Vice-Chair: 2022Chair: 2024North American Membrane Society (NAMS)Board of Directors Member:   2019 – 2022

Ex-officio Board of Directors: 2022– 2024


Lucy M. Camacho