Belinda Sturm is the interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Kansas and a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering. She is also director of the Kansas National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program. In addition to leading the KU Office of Research, she advocates for research on and off campus, implements research integrity requirements, and through the KU Center for Research (KUCR), oversees the administration of research grants and contracts primarily for the Lawrence campus. Sturm also has oversight of activities related to technology commercialization and business and industry outreach.
Sturm’s research group studies the application of biological processes in environmental engineering toward public health protection and sustainability. She served Lawrence and the surrounding region during the pandemic by monitoring COVID levels in wastewater. Sturm leads the current statewide NSF EPSCoR initiative that is advancing the resilience of infrastructures that all Kansans depend on — such as water, energy and transportation systems — by creating tools that ensure support for our most vulnerable communities in both rural and urban areas. The project is also creating a pipeline of community leaders and decision-makers who will transform how communities invest in and manage their human and physical infrastructure.
Sturm has a doctorate in civil engineering & geological sciences from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science & engineering from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California-Davis.
A KU faculty member since 2006, Sturm previously served as an Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. She is an award-winning researcher, teacher and mentor who is deeply engaged in professional service through membership in the Water Environment Federation, International Water Association, Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, American Association for the Advancement of Science and other groups.