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  Erik R. Coats, P.E., Ph.D.
  Associate Professor of Civil Engineering


Teaching/Course Links
Coats' Research Group
Info for Potential Students
Scale Model WWTPs
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Analytical Service Center


Curriculum Vitae


office: Buchanan Engineering Lab, rm. 129

Twitter: @E_Coats

Currently serving as the Past President of the Pacific NW Clean Water Association


875 Perimeter Dr.


Moscow, ID 83844-1022


607 Urquhart Drive


Moscow, ID 83844-1022




Environmental engineers study, plan, design, and facilitate construction of infrastructure to:

  • Protect the environment from various human activities;

  • Provide safe drinking water to the public; and

  • Receive and process wastewater, generating products that can be returned to the environment safely.

The University of Idaho maintains a strong Environmental Engineering undergraduate and graduate curriculum, with complementary research capabilities. With two environmental engineering faculty in the CE Dept who actively collaborate across disciplines both inside and outside the UI, graduate students have access to a wide array of classes and research infrastructure. Research is cutting edge and highly relevant in the water-environment sector, with a particular emphasis on microbial processes for resource recovery and wastewater-byproducts treatment.

Dr. Coats' graduate student cohort, past and present, have conducted a wide range of exciting research, have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals (see Publications link), and have presented their research at a wide array of conferences. In particular, Dr. Coats' group regularly contributes at the Pacific NW Clean Water Association annual conference ( More importantly, Dr. Coats' graduate students are gainfully employed in the water-environment sector, continuing to make professional contributions in environmental engineering. Dr. Coats' students are highly sought after by consulting firms (often securing employment six months prior to graduation); graduates currently work at Brown and Caldwell, J-U-B Engineers, Mountain Waterworks, CDM-Smith, Gray & Osborne, and Seattle Public Utilities.

In September 2015 four of Dr. Coats' graduate students competed in the Student Design Competition at WEFTEC-Chicago, and placed second overall, besting 8 other university teams from around the U.S. and Canada.

As an environmental engineering professor, I have over 23 years of experience in both academia and the private sector. Prior to joining UI I worked 10 years as a consulting engineer, and I continue to be active in the applied side of my profession. I have been a licensed Professional Civil Engineer since 1995, and am currently licensed in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844