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Caitlin Grady

Caitlin Grady

Ecological Sciences and Engineering

Civil Engineering

Dr. Ernest R. Blatchley III (Chip Blatchley)

Post implememtation research on non-profit water treatment and watershed management interventions in developing countries.

Bachelor’s Degree: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Master’s Degree: Agriculture and Biological Engineering, Purdue University. 


My research focuses on water resources in emerging countries. There are millions of people every year who die from water related diseases. In addition, many engineering water treatment systems fail to be sustained for long-term use. As an interdisciplinary student, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects studying the causes of success and failure in these types of development work. Last year, I worked in Kenya to analyze household biosand drinking water treatment systems using both physical water quality metrics and socioeconomic information gathered through surveys.

Currently, my work is focused on analyzing water treatment projects implemented throughout the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia. I am working with several non-profits including the Challenge Program on Water and Food as well as Engineers without Borders to look at program effectiveness and water quality throughout the region.


Caitlin Grady

It is not very common for an engineer to have political ambitions. Since I was in middle school however, policy and politics are all I’ve wanted to do. As my interest in international policy grew throughout high school and college, so did my interest in water resources. Water is such an important part of everyone’s lives, and is the cause of both conflict and cooperation locally, regionally and globally.

In college I was guided by a wonderful advisor who encouraged me to continue technical training in graduate school in order to bring a scientific perspective and understanding into policy in my future profession. At Purdue, the ESE program has allowed me to work on interdisciplinary projects that will prepare me for my future work in policy. Ultimately, I hope to become a science advisor to a future U.S. administration because I believe that if we increase utilization of scientific knowledge in policymaking, we will be able to make better choices as a country and as a global community.


Younos, T., and C. Grady eds. 2013. Climate Change in Water Resources. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, Vol 25. Springer Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-642-37585-9.

Grady, C., A. P. Reimer, J. R. Frankenberger, and L. S. Prokopy. 2013. “Locating Existing Best Management Practices within a watershed: The value of multiple methods”. Journal of American Water Resources Association. JAWRA-12-0035-P.

Grady, C. and T. Younos. 2012.”Bottled Water: Panacea or Plague”. American Water Resources Association. Water Resources Impact. 4(6):15-17.

Grady, C. and T. Younos. 2012. “Bottled Water Technology and Its Global Ramifications: An Overview”. International Water Technology Journal. 2(2):185-195.

Grady, C. and T. Younos. 2010 "Water Use and Sustainability in La Altagracia, Dominican Republic."  Virginia Water Resources Research Center Special Reports 49.

Grady, C., T. McCoskey, D. Gowland, and T. Younos. 2009. "Rainwater Harvesting in Urban Environments: Opportunities and Challenges." University Council on Water Resources Annual Conference: Urban Water Management. Chicago IL July 2009.

Younos, T., C. Grady, T. Chen, T. Parece. 2009. “Conventional and Decentralized Water Infrastructure: Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprint. Proceedings of the American Water Resources Association: Managing Water Resources and Development in a Changing Climate”. Spring Specialty Conference, Anchorage AK May 2009.

Grady, C. and T. Younos. 2008. "Analysis of Water and Energy Conservation of Rainwater Capture System on a Single Family Home." Virginia Water Resources Research Center Special Reports 39.


Since Fall 2010

Grady, C., E.R. Blatchley III, Isaac Soita. February 2013. “Performance of Biologically-Active Sand Filters for Drinking Water Treatment: Exploration of Biophysical Factors and Consumer Social Behavior Trends in Eldoret, Kenya”, Disinfection and Public Health Conference. Indianapolis, IN.

Grady, C. January 2012. “Preparing Emerging Young Professionals for Transboundary Environmental Research and Leadership through Experiential Learning: The Across Borders Fellowship Program”, National Council on Science and the Environment Annual Conference. Washington DC.

Grady, C. and M. Schaefer. September 2011. “Water words that work, how to make an engaging brochure”, Indiana Watersheds Webinar Series, Invited Presentation.

Grady, C. and J. Frankenberger. August 2011. “The impact of scale: evaluation of best management practices in the Eagle Creek watershed”, American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers Annual Conference, Oral Presentation. Lexington, KY.

Grady, C. April 2011. “Energy implications for the future of desalination”, Environmental Virginia Conference, Oral Presentation. Lexington, VA.

Grady, C. March 2011. “Methods for identifying best management practices throughout watersheds in Indiana”, Indiana Lakes Management Society, Oral Presentation. Angola, IN.

Grady, C. and J. Frankenberger. October 2010, “Integrative approach to analyzing best management practices in the Eagle Creek Watershed”, Ecological Sciences and Engineering Symposium, Poster Presentation. West Lafayette, IN. Purdue University.


  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (awarded spring 2012)
  • U.S. Borlaug Fellowship in Global Food Security (awarded spring 2013)
  • OIGP Most Outstanding Interdisciplinary Project Award (awarded spring 2013)
  • Bilsland Strategic Initiatives Fellowship, Purdue Graduate School (awarded spring 2012)
  • Andrews Environmental Travel Grant, Purdue Graduate School (awarded fall 2011)
  • Lynn Fellowship, Purdue Graduate School (awarded spring 2010)


  • Women in Engineering Graduate Mentoring Program – Leadership Team
  • Lyn Treece Boys & Girls Club: Keystone Kids Garden Program Volunteer
  • ESE Symposium Planning Team, Logistics Chair (2011-2012)