Dr. Mei Sun

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Energy Production and Infrastructure Center 3163

9201 University City Blvd | Charlotte, NC 28223

Phone: 704-687-1723 | Fax: 704-687-0957

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2012
  • M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 2008
  • B.E. Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, 2007

Current Postdoctoral researchers

Yingying You (2022-now)

Yingying graduated from the South China University of Technology in 2022 with a PhD degree in Environmental Science and Engineering, with her research focusing on photocatalytic removal of pollutants in wastewater. She was also a visiting researcher at Washington University in St. Louis from 2020-2022, where she worked on developing novel catalysts for advanced oxidation processes to remove organic contaminants in wastewater. Her project at UNCC focuses on the degradation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water treatment waste streams. She enjoys running, hiking, and cooking.

Kotaiba Abugazleh (2022-now)

Kotaiba graduated from the University of Jordan in 2015 with a master’s in Environmental Technology. He graduated from Arkansas State University with a doctorate in Environmental Science in 2021. Prior to joining the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Organic Synthesis at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. Kotaiba was also involved in aquatic toxicity testing and analysis.
His research interests are broadly at the interactions between water quality, water treatment, and contaminant fate and transport. His work is currently analyzing and identifying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water and land-applied solid residuals from wastewater treatment processes. He loves horseback riding, hiking, and getting out in the mountains.

Bingchuan Liu (2022-now)

Bingchuan Liu graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2015 with a PhD in Environmental Engineering.  Then he worked as an associate professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) during 2015-2022. He obtained a master’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and a bachelor’s degree from Harbin Institute of Technology (China). He mainly works on analyzing the occurrence of PFAS in drinking water sources in North Carolina. He has a broad research interest in investigating the occurrence, fate, environmental impact, and removal of emerging contaminants in various environmental matrices. In his spare time, he enjoys things related to The Three Kingdoms. He also likes playing Hearthstone and reading suspense novels.

Current PhD Students

Swagotom Sarkar (2022-now)

Swagotom Sarkar completed his BS. in Chemistry and MS. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Rajshahi in 2011 and 2012, respectively. In 2017, he completed another master’s degree in Nanosciences and Advanced Materials from the Federal University of ABC, Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he worked on photo-electrochemical water splitting to generate hydrogen fuel. Then, From April 2019 to July 2022, he worked as a scientific officer at Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurements (BRiCM) where he worked on Gas-Chromatography and Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) to detect desired analytes and contaminants present in different matrices. His current research interest is in developing technologies for PFAS analysis. He likes adventure, hiking, watching documentaries, reading detective novels, and listening to the American English accent.

Current Master’s Students


Current Undergraduate Students


Previous Group Members

Postdocs: Yuling Han (Guangdong University of Technology), Yen-Ling Liu (REGENESIS), JInchen Chen (Atlas Technical Consultants)

PhD student: Vivek Pulikkal (Arcadis)

Master’s students: James Homiller (WK Dickson & Co.), Sadhana Vangapalli (Chesterfield County Utilities, VA), Thuy Le (Union County, NC), Kaitlynn Bryan-Scaggs (ONE Environmental Group), Samonty Das

Undergraduate students: Melissa Thai (DPR Associates), Isabel Srivoraphan (POWER Engineers), Savannah Tilley (GHD), Dave Tilley (BASF), Ziona Bates-Norris (University of Arkansas), Cristine Quach (LaBella Associates), Hunter Hale

Lab technician: Elizabeth Batianis (Duke Energy)

Visiting scholar: Qin Tian (National Research center for Geoanalysis of China)

Group Photos

From left to right: James Homiller, Vivek Pulikkal, Sadhana Vangapalli, Mei Sun, Savannah Tilly, Thuy Le, Qin Tian (Fall 2018)

From left to right: Yen-Ling Liu, Yuling Han, Samonty Das, Vivek Pulikkal (Fall 2019)

From left to right: Bingchuan Liu, Yingying You, Mei Sun, Swagotom Sarkar, Kotaiba Abugazleh (Spring 2023)