Current Students*

Graduate Students:

Tasnuva PicTasnuva Mahjabin, Working in conjunction with Dr. Grady and Dr. Alfonso Mejia
Tasnuva is a PhD candidate in the Water Resources Engineering Program at Penn State. She received her MS in Civil Engineering from Florida International University and BS in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Her MS thesis focused on analyzing long-term trends in extreme rainfall events in Florida. Before coming to the USA, she worked as a lecturer in Civil Engineering department at University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh. Her current research focuses on the area of Water-Food-Energy Nexus and complex system analysis of cities and urbanization. She likes to travel, read books and watch movies in her free time.

Lauren Trepanier Photo

Lauren Trepanier
Lauren is a PhD student in the Water Resources Engineering Program at Penn State. She received her BS in Agricultural & Biological Engineering and her and MSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Purdue University. At Purdue her interests included environmental natural resources and water treatment. Having a long-standing passion for clean drinking water, she worked from 2015 to 2018 with a Kenyan-led nonprofit organization leading the development of a household water treatment initiative with  communities in Southwestern Kenya. Motivated to understand the processes of international development, Lauren is pursuing her PhD in Civil Engineering in Water Resources at Penn State. Her research focuses on household water treatment in and the ethics of international development.

Paniz MohamadpourPaniz
Paniz is a PhD student in the Water Resources Engineering Program at Penn State. She received her MS in Civil Engineering (Water Resources Engineering and Management) from University of Tehran and BS in Civil Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. Her MS thesis focused on measuring the sustainability between water supply and demand by developing a Hybrid Sustainability Index for a river basin in Iran. During her MS studies, she was also engaged in a research project to create a comprehensive plan for reducing the water pollution in Iran. Her research interests are in the areas of regional sustainability of water supply and demand, sustainable development, and water quality management. She enjoys playing basketball, traveling and watching movies.

LDennisLauren Dennis
Lauren is a PhD student in the Water Resources Engineering Program at Penn State. She received her MS in Meteorology and Atmospheric Science from Penn State in 2019 where she studied methane emissions from potential gas migration from shale gas wells. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, she received a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Political Science from the University of New Mexico. Throughout her education, Lauren has had an interest in the relationship between people and the environment. Her broad research interests include natural resource management, decision-making, and the food-energy-water nexus. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, biking, snowboarding, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

 Undergraduate Students:


Abby PhotoAbby Cowser
Abby is currently a Civil Engineering (B.S.) junior with an interest in writing her Honors Thesis on water quality from improved sources in developing countries. She is involved with Penn State’s Chapter of Engineers in Action as the Project Manager where she will be leading a bridge building trip to Bolivia.




Steven Zhang
Steven Zhang is a rising sophomore studying Economics and Political Science in the Schreyer Honors College. He is interested in domestic and international environmental policy and would like to expand his knowledge of climate politics. He is the Vice Chair of Governmental Affairs in the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) student government organization, focusing on sustainability and environmental advocacy for University Park. He is also the President of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Caucus and advocates for Asian students at Penn State.


About Dr. Grady, Principle Investigator

Dr. Grady is an Assistant Professor The Pennsylvania State University. She also holds a dual appointment in the College of Engineering Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and in the College of Liberal Arts Rock Ethics Institute. In 2018, Dr. Grady was named the inaugural Faculty Fellow for the Center for Security Research and Education. Dr. Grady also holds a courtesy appointment in the School of International Affairs.

Prior to joining PSU, Dr. Grady worked in various environmental policy roles for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of State. In these roles, she worked on a myriad of issues including water & energy, agriculture, air quality,  budget & appropriations, international development, and diplomatic engagement. Most recently, Dr. Grady spent two years on the U.S. State Department negotiating team for the Montreal Protocol Treaty and it’s recently adopted Kigali Amendment.

Education: Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Purdue University; Masters in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, Bachelors in Science and Technology Studies (Humanities, Science, and the Environment Major, Environmental Policy and Planning Minor), Virginia Tech.

Student Awards

  • Lauren Dennis – Penn State University Graduate Fellowship, 2019-2020
  • Paniz Mohammadpour – CUAHSI Travel Scholarship to attend a workshop, Spring 2019
  • Jack Iffert – Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award, Spring 2019
  • Jack Iffert – Engineering Technology and Ethics Fellowship, Fall 2018
  • Tasnuva Mahjabin – Penn State College of Engineering Travel Grant to attend the AGU fall conference
  • Tasnuva Mahjabin – Acceptance and travel award to attend the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center Graduate Student Workshop on Socio-Environmental Synthesis, Fall 2018
  • Lauren Trepanier – Penn State University Graduate Fellowship, 2018-2019
  • Andrew Pannone – College of Engineering Research Initiative (CERI) Scholarship, Spring 2018
  • Andrew Pannone – College of Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Summer Fellowship, Summer 2018

Previous Students

2017-2018 Jose Fernandez; Masters of Engineering, Graduated Spring 2018 | Penn State Civil Engineering, Water Resources |
2017-2018 Andrew Pannone; Undergraduate Student, Sophomore | Penn State  Engineering |
2018-2019 Jack Iffert; B.S. Civil Engineering, Senior, Graduated Spring 2019 |
2018-2019 Jared Lawrence; Masters of International Affairs, Graduated Spring 2019 | PSU School of International Affairs
2019 Summer Maya Zambrano-Lee; Visiting undergraduate student from the University of Maryland | Project Drawdown REU


*Current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to contact Dr. Grady to inquire about available positions. To work with Dr. Grady for your graduate degree program, please submit your application to the Civil Engineering – Water Resources program at Penn State.