Concordia University

Catherine Mulligan, PhD

Professor , Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering
Concordia Research Chair in Geoenvironmental Sustainability (Tier I)

Office: S-EV 6187 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 7925

Dr. Mulligan specializes in environmental engineering. She has B.Eng. and M. Eng. degrees from the Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, Montréal (Québec) and a Ph.D., from the Department of Civil Engineering, at McGill University. After working at McGill and in industry for 16 years, she joined the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Concordia University as an Assistant Professor in 1999, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002. She was awarded the Concordia Research Chair in Environmental Engineering in 2002 and has won the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award twice (2002-2003 and 2004-2005).

Catherine Mulligan has B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in chemical engineering from McGill University, and a Ph.D. specializing in geoenvironmental engineering, also from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She has gained more than 25 years of research experience in government, industrial, and academic environments. She  has worked for the Biotechnology Research Institute of the National Research Council and SNC Research Corp., a subsidiary of SNC‑Lavalin, Montreal, Canada. She then joined Concordia University, Montreal, Canada in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1999. She has taught courses in site remediation, environmental engineering, fate and transport of contaminants and geoenvironmental engineering, and she conducts research in remediation of contaminated soils, sediments and water. She holds a Concordia Research Chair in Geoenvironmental Sustainability (Tier I) and is Full Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science. She has authored more than 80 refereed papers in various journals, holds three patents and has supervised to completion more than 40 graduate students.

She is the Director of the new Concordia Institute of Water, Energy and Sustainable Systems.  The new Institute will train students in sustainable development practices and promote research into new systems, technologies and solutions for water, energy and resource conservation. On June 26, 2012,  the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced that Concordia had received $ 1,643,700 in support of research and training via an Institute in Water, Energy and Sustainability. This is the first Concordia project to be awarded funding through NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program.

Professional affiliations

  • Order of Engineers of Québec,
  • Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (chair of the Sustainable Development Committee)
  • Canadian Geotechnical Society (VP Communications, Jan. 2013-Dec. 2014)
  • Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering,
  • ASTM (D18 and E5 committee member)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineering,
  • Air and Waste Management Association,
  • Association for the Environmental Health of Soils.
  • Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Hazardous Materials and the Korean Journal of Civil Engineering.


  • Biosurfactant treatment of contaminated soils and sediments and water
  • Treatment and management of metal-contaminated soils, sediments and  mining wastes
  • Bioremediation of hydrocarbons
  • In situ processes for management of surface water and contaminated sediment
  •  Anaerobic treatment of wastewater
  • Development of sustainability indicators



Refereed publications (2006- present)

  • M. Alimahmoodi, L. Yerushalmi, and C.N. Mulligan Mixing characteristics and liquid circulation in a new multi-environment bioreactor", accepted for publication in Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering, Oct. 3, 2012
  • L. Yerushalmi, M. Alimahmoodi and C.N. Mulligan. Treatment of Synthetic Wastewater and Hog Waste with  Reduced Sludge Generation by the Multi-Environment BioCAST Technology. Water Science and Technology (SCI). It was accepted on 07-09-2012.
  • M.  Alimahmoodi,  L. Yerushalmi and C. N.Mulligan, Simultaneous Removal of Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus in a Multi-zone Wastewater Treatment System, accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, Aug. 16, 2012.
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan, Effects of Three Low-Molecular-Weight Organic Acids (LMWOAs) and pH  on the Mobilization of Arsenic and Heavy Metals (Cu, Pb and Zn) from Mine Tailings, Accepted Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Accepted  April 25, 2012.
  • M.  Alimahmoodi,  L. Yerushalmi and C. N.Mulligan, Development of biofilm on geotextile in a new multi-zone wastewater treatment system for simultaneous removal of COD, nitrogen and phosphorus.  Bioresource Technology 107,  78-86 DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2011.12.034 (2012)
  • R.A. Karim, C.N. Mulligan and M. Fukue, Preliminary evaluation of a sediment resuspension technique for reduction of phosphorus in lake water. Contaminated Sediments: Restoration of Aquatic Environment, STP 1445,  45- 65 (2012)
  • M. Fukue, K. Uehara, H. Kouge, , Y. Sato, Toru Harada, M. Yamana, and C. N. Mulligan, Re-suspension technique for improving organic rich sediment rich sediment-water quality in a shallow sea area. Marine Georesources and Geotechnology. 30:3, 222-233 (2012)
  • Y. Guo, C. N. Mulligan, M-P Nieh. An unusual morphological transformation of rhamnolipid aggregates induced by concentration and addition of styrene: A small angle neutron scattering (SANS) study.   Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects (SCI), 373( 1-3) 42-50 (2011).
  • M. Alimahmoodi, and C. N. Mulligan. Optimization of the anaerobic treatment of a waste stream from an enhanced oil recovery process. Bioresource Technology (SCI), 102 (2) 690-696 (2011).
  • M.A. M. El Zeftawy, C. N. Mulligan. Use of rhamnolipid to remove heavy metals from wastewater by micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration (MEUF).  Separation and Purification Technology (SCI), 77(1, 2)  120-127 (2011)
  • Md. R. I. Chowdhury, C. N. Mulligan. Biosorption of arsenic from contaminated water by anaerobic biomass.  Journal of Hazardous Materials (SCI),  190, 486-492 (2011)
  •  M. Fukue and  C. N. Mulligan. Equations of State in Soil Compression Based on Statistical Mechanics. Soils and Foundations (SCI) 50,  336-337 DOI: 10.3208/sandf.50.336  (2010)
  • M. Fukue, Y. Fujimori, Y. Sato, T. Nakagawa, C.N. Mulligan Evidence of the production and dissolution of carbonate phases in bentonite formations. Applied Clay Science (SCI), 47(1-2) 133-138 (2010).
  • C.N. Mulligan, Recent Advances in the Environmental Applications of Biosurfactants, Curr. Opin. Coll. Interfac. Sci.(SCI) 14, 372-378 (2009)
  • T. Inoue, M. Fukue, C.N. Mulligan and K. Uehara. In situ removal of contaminated suspended solids from a pond by filtration, Ecological Engineering (SCI), 35, 1249-1254 (2009).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Arsenic mobilization from mine tailings in the presence of a biosurfactant Applied Geochemistry (SCI), 24, 928-935 (2009).
  • S. Wang, and C. N. Mulligan Effect of natural organic matter on arsenic mobilization from mine tailings Journal of Hazardous Materials (SCI), 168, 721-726 (2009).
  • M. Fukue and C.N. Mulligan. Development of a theoretical approach for prediction of soil compression behaviour. Soils Foundations,49(1),99-114 (2009).
  • T. Inoue, C.N. Mulligan, E.M. Zadeh and M. Fukue, Effect of contaminated suspended soils in water and sediment qualities and their treatment, J. ASTM International. 6(3), pages 1-11, Paper ID JAI102185.(2009)
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Rhamnolipid biosurfactant-enhanced soil flushing for the removal of arsenic and heavy metals from mine tailings. Process Biochemistry. 44(3), 296-301 (2009).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Enhanced mobilization of arsenic and heavy metals from mine tailings by humic acid. Chemosphere (SCI), 74(2), 274-279 (2009)
  • C. N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong and M. Fukue, Some effects of microbial activity on the evolution of clay-based buffer properties in underground repositories, Long-term performance of smectic clays embedding canisters with highly radioactive waste, Applied Clay Science (SCI), 42, 331-335 (2009).
  • C. N. Mulligan   N. Davarpanah, M. Fukue and T.Inoue. Filtration of contaminated suspended solids for the treatment of surface water. Chemosphere, 74(6), 779-786 (2009)
  • H. Massara and C.N. Mulligan Hexavalent Chromium Removal by Viable, Granular Anaerobic Biomass, Bioresource Technology (SCI),  99,  8637-8642  (2008).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Speciation of Inorganic Arsenic in Solid Phases and Surface Complexation Modeling. Environment International (SCI), 34, 867-879, (2008).
  • B. Dahrazma, C.N. Mulligan and M-P. Nieh, Effects of additives on the structure of rhamnolipid (biosurfactant): A small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) study, J. Colloid Interface Sci (SCI), 319, 590-593 (2008).
  • M. Alimahmoodi and C. N.  Mulligan. Anaerobic bioconversion of CO2 to biogas in an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. Journal of Air and Waste Management Association (SCI), 58, 95-103, (2008).
  • A.Hajizadeh Moghaddam and C. N. Mulligan, Leaching of heavy metals from copper, chromated copper arsenate treated wood, Waste Management (SCI) 28, 628-637 (2008).
  • A H. Hawari and C. N. Mulligan. Effect of the presence of lead on the biosorption of copper, cadmium and nickel by anaerobic biomass. Process Biochemistry (SCI), 42, 1546-1552, (2007).
  • B. Dahrazma and C. N. Mulligan. Investigation of the removal of heavy metals from sediments using rhamnolipid in a continuous flow configuration. Chemosphere (SCI) 69, 705-711(2007).
  • M. Fukue, C. N. Mulligan, Y.  Sato and T. Fujikawa.  Effects of organic suspended solids and their sedimentation on the surrounding sea area. Environmental Pollution (SCI), 149, 70-78 (2007)
  • H. Massara, C.N. Mulligan, and J. Hadjinicolaou.  Effect of Rhamnolipids on Chromium Contaminated Soil"  Soil & Sediment Contamination: an International Journal (SCI), 16, 1-14, (2007).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan, Natural attenuation processes for remediation of arsenic contaminated soils and groundwater, J. Hazard. Material. B138, 459-470 (2006).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Occurrence of Arsenic Contamination in Canada: Sources, Behavior and Distribution, Science of the Total Environment, 366, 701-721, (2006).
  • S. Wang and C.N. Mulligan. Effect of Natural Organic Matter on Arsenic Release from Soils and Sediments into Groundwater.  Environmental Geochemistry and Health.  28, 197-214 (2006).
  • B. Dahrazma and C.N. Mulligan. Evaluation of the removal of heavy metals from contaminated sediments in batch and continuous tests with selective sequential extraction, ASTM STP 1482, 200-209 (2006). Also online in Journal of ASTM International  Paper ID JAI13337, Vol. 3, No. 7.
  • C.N. Mulligan and R.N. Yong. Natural attenuation of sediments. ASTM STP 1482, 210- 222 (2006). Also online in Journal of ASTM International  Paper ID JAI13338, Vol. 3, No. 7.
  • C.N. Mulligan and S. Wang. Remediation of a heavy metal contaminated soil by a rhamnolipid foam, Engineering Geology, 85(1-2), 75-81 (2006).
  • A, H. Hawari and C.N. Mulligan. Heavy metals uptake mechanisms in a fixed column by calcium-treated anaerobic biomass.  Process Biochemistry, 41(1) 187-198 (2006).
  • A. H Hawari and C.N. Mulligan. Biosorption of cadmium, copper, lead, and nickel by anaerobic granular biomass. Bioresource Technology, 97(4) 692-700 (2006)

Other frequently cited articles

  • C.N.  Mulligan. Environmental applications for biosurfactants. Environmental Pollution. 133, 183-198.(2005)
  • C.N Mulligan and R.N. Yong, Natural attenuation of contaminated soil, Environmental International 30, 587-601 (2004).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong, and B.F. Gibbs. An evaluation of technologies for the heavy metal remediation of Dredged Sediments.  Journal of Hazardous Materials. 85, 145-163 (2001).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N.Yong and B.F. Gibbs. Heavy metal removal from sediments by biosurfactants Journal of Hazardous Materials, 85, 111-125 (2001).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong and B.F. Gibbs, Remediation technologies for metal-contaminated soils and sediments: An evaluation. Engineering Geology 60(1-4), 193-207 (2001).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong and B.F.  Gibbs. Surfactant-enhanced remediation of contaminated soil: A review. Engineering Geology 60(1-4), 371-380 (2001).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong,  B.F.Gibbs,  S. James and H.P.J. Bennett. Metal removal from contaminated soil and sediments by the biosurfactant surfactin, Environmental Science and Technology, 33, 3812-3820 (1999).
  • C.N. Mulligan, R.N. Yong and B.F. Gibbs. Removal of heavy metals from contaminated soil and sediments using the biosurfactant surfactin. J. Soil Contamination, 8(2), 231-254 (1999).
  • C.N. Mulligan,  R.N. Yong and B.F. Gibbs. On the use of biosurfactants for the removal of heavy metals from oil-contaminated soil. Environmental Progress, 18(1) (1999)
  • C.N. Mulligan and B.F. Gibbs.  Recovery of biosurfactants by ultrafiltration. J. Chem. Tech. Biotech. 47, 23-29 (1990).
  • C. N. Mulligan, and B.F. Gibbs. Correlation of nitrogen metabolism with biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 55, 3016-3019 (1989).
  • C.N. Mulligan, G. Mahmourides and B.F. Gibbs. The influence of phosphate metabolism on biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. J. Biotech. 12, 199-210 (1989).
  • J.D. Sheppard, and C.N. Mulligan.  The production of surfactin by Bacillus subtilis grown on peat hydrolysates.  Appl. Microbiol. Biotech., 27, 110-116 (1987).
  • C.N. Mulligan, D.G. Cooper and R.J. Neufeld.  Selection of microbes producing biosurfactants on media without hydrocarbons. J. Ferm. Technol. 62, 311-314 (1984).

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