M. Robin Collins

M. Robin Collins


Research Group: Environmental Engineering

Research Overview

Dr. Robin Collins is currently the Davison Professor of Environmental Engineering and a member of the Environmental Research Group and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Collins has conducted research in cooperation with numerous funding agencies by characterizing natural organic matter and disinfection by-product precursor and microbial removals from selected water treatment processes including slow sand filtration, direct filtration, diatomaceous earth filtration, riverbank filtration, membrane filtration and conventional treatment. He has worked with numerous public water suppliers and consulting engineers nationwide in evaluating and piloting several filtration options, especially slow sand filtration. He has also co-organized edited four international research conferences and two regional workshops on slow sand filtration. His current research interests have focused on water treatment technologies for small systems involving innovative adsorptive media for arsenic removal, disinfection by-product precursor and pathogen reductions by biological filtration, development of engineering training modules for selected non-traditional technologies and post-treatment aeration to remove volatile organic compounds, e.g. THMs.

Selected Research Projects

  • Enhancing Performance of Roughing Filter
  • Assessing the Role of Schmutzdecke in Microbial Removals by Riverbank and Slow Sand Filtration
  • Evaluating Intermittency Influences on Microbial Removals by Slow Sand Filters
  • Assessing Zero-Valent-Iron (ZVI) for Arsenic Removals
  • Evaluating Metal Coating to Enhance Filtration Performance
  • Assessing Post-Treatment Aeration Techniques to Reduce Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water
  • Assessing Microbial Removals from Various Membrane Configuration & Operating Conditions

Selected Publications

  1. Progress in Slow Sand and Alternative Biofiltration Processes, 2014. Edited by N. Nakamoto, N. Graham, M.R. Collins and R. Gimbel, IWA Publishing, London, UK.
  2. A. Cecchetti, H. Roakes and M.R. Collins. 2014. Influence of Selected Variables on THM Removals  by Spray aeration. Jour. AWWA 106:4.
  3. M.R. Collins, M. P. Youngstrom and M.V. Broder. 2012. Chapter 10. Slow Sand and Diatomaceous                 Earth Filtration, in AWWA/ASCE Water Treatment Plant Design, 5th Edition.
  4. E. Brooke & M.R. Collins, 2011. Posttreatment Aeration to Reduce THMs. Jour.AWWA 103:10:84.
  5. M.R. Collins 2009. Common Faux Pas in Piloting, Designing, and Operating Slow Sand Filters, in Sustainable and Safe Drinking Water in Developing and Developed Countries. Edited by P. Singer, UNH, Chapel Hill. 
  6. M. Unger & M.R. Collins, 2008. Assessing E.coli Removal in the Schmutzdecke of Slow-rate Biofilters. Jour. AWWA 100:12:60.
  7. V. Partinoudi & M.R. Collins, 2007. Assessing Riverbank Filtration Removal Mechanisms. Jour AWWA 99:12:61.
  8. T. Grischek, J. Schubert, J.L. Jasperse, S.M. Stowe & M.R. Collins (2007) What is the Appropriate Site for RBF? In Management of Aquifer Recharge for Sustainability (Fox, ed). Acacia Publishing, Phoenix.
  9. P.G. Pope, G.E. Speitel, Jr & M.R. Collins, 2007. Kinetics of Dihaloacetic Acid Formation during Chloramination. Jour. AWWA 98:11:107.
  10.  P.G. Pope, M. Martin-Doole, G.E. Speitel Jr & M.R. Collins, 2007, Relative Significance of Factors Influencing DXAA Formation during Chloramination Jour. AWWA 99:9:144.      
  11. H. Dopfer, D. Burt, M.J. Bailly & M.R. Collins, 2007. Assessing In-situ Regenerable Filter Media for Enhancing NOM Removals. Proceedings of the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE), in Toronto, Ontario.
  12. B.D. Jobb, W.B. Anderson, M.R. Collins, and R.A. LeCraw, 2007. Removal of Emerging Contaminants and Pathogens Using Modified Slow Sand Filtration: An Overview. Proceedings of the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE), in Toronto, Ontario.
  13. Recent Progress in Slow Sand Filtration and Alternative Biofiltration Processes, 2006. Edited by R.Gimbel, N.J.D. Graham & M.R. Collins. IWA Publishing, London, UK.
  14. V. Partinoudi, M. Martin-Doole, P.L. Dwyer & M.R. Collins, 2006. Assessing Temperature Influences on Slow Sand Filtration Treatment Performance.” Proceedings of the AWWA Annual Conference and Exposition, in San Antonio, TX.
  15. M. Unger & M.R. Collins, 2006. Assessing the Role of the Schmutzdecke in Pathogen Removal in Riverbank and Slow Sand Filtration.” Recent Progress in Slow sand Filtration and Alternative Biofiltration Processes, Editors R.Gimbel, N.J.D. Graham and M.R. Collins, IWA Publishing, London, UK.

Professional Licenses

Professional Engineering Licenses in Kansas, Virginia, and Wyoming.



  • Ph.D., 1985, University of Arizona, Civil Engineering 
  • M.S., 1972, Virginia Tech, Sanitary Engineering 
  • B.S., 1970, Virginia Tech, Civil Engineering with Distinction

Experience as a Faculty Member, Department of Civil-Engineering, UNH

  • Co-PI, National Centers for Innovations in Small Systems - DeRisk (Lead UC-Boulder)
  • Chair, 2010-2013
  • Director, Water Treatment Technology Assistance Center, 1999- Present 
  • Professor, 1997-present 
  • Associate Professor, 1991-1997 
  • Assistant Professor, 1985-1991

Other Related Experiences

  • Research & Teaching Assistant, 1982-1985, University of Arizona 
  • Private Consultant, 1982, Western Design Consultants, Lander, WY 
  • District Engineer, 1979-1982, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Lander, WY 
  • District Engineer, 1975-1978, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Chanute, KS 
  • Sanitary Engineer, 1972-1975, U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, Fort Riley, KS 
  • Co-op Engineering Student, 1967-1970, Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern, Roanoke, VA

Honors and Awards

  • 2013, 2005, 1998, 1993 & 1990 American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award – Master’s Thesis Major Advisor
  • 1996 Association of Environmental Engineering Professors Distinguished Service Award
  • 1994 University of New Hampshire Excellence in Public Service Award 
  • 1986 AWWA Academic Achievement Award - 2nd Place Best Dissertation
  • 1975 US Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service 

Teaching Interests

Drinking water treatment processes, water chemistry, public health engineering, on-site wastewater disposal systems, environmental pollution and control.

Current Graudate Students

  • Kyle Hay
  • Brianna Wentworth
  • Darline Balen
  • Anthony Guidice
  • Kellen Sawyer
Portrait of Professor Collins
Gregg Hall Room 348
33 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1407