Jorge Gardea-Torresdey

Chemistry and Computer Science Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
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Jorge L Gardea-Torresdey
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry - Environmental Science and Engineering

Dr. Jorge Gardea-Torresdey is the Dudley Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering and Professor of Chemistry. I joined UTEP in January of 1994. Within two years of joining UTEP as a faculty member, I had become Director of the Environmental Science and Engineering PhD Program, an administrative position I held until 2003. In 2001, I became Chair of the Chemistry Department, now Chemistry and Biochemistry. For 17 years, I guided the growth of the Department, both in research and in the expansion of program offerings. The addition of Biochemistry BS and Chemistry PhD degree programs and a new state-of-the-art building are examples of my leadership efforts. Additionally, I have been central in establishing an exceptional research program in Environmental Nanotechnology/Chemistry at UTEP. My research expertise includes applications of spectroscopy techniques in environmental chemistry; benefits and implications of nanotechnology in agricultural systems (i.e. the improvement of crop yields and quality through the use of nanoparticle delivery systems for essential nutrients, pesticides, and herbicides); development of analytical methods to detect nanomaterials; and the development of nano-enabled modular water treatment systems that are easy to deploy and that can treat and reuse challenging wastewaters. All of these are themes of critical environmental research that greatly impact West Texas and the desert southwest. I have an impressive publication record, having over 500 papers in the field (130 of which published in the past six years), over 30,000 citations, and an h-index of 94. My work has been recently published in one of the world’s leading monthly peer-reviewed scientific journals, Nature Nanotechnology. I also have an important record as a funded researcher. Over 120 of my research projects have been funded, 18 of which were granted in the past five years. Currently, I am the UTEP PI of three major multi-institution research centers on nanotechnology: (1) the $48,000,000 NSF University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN), (2) the $18,500,000 NSF ERC Center for Off-Grid Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT), and (3) the $480,000 USDA Center to Enhance Micronutrient Use Efficiency and Increase Crop Yield using nanotechnology.In addition to my outstanding administrative and research record, I also tackled the student access component. I have a strong record of teaching, training, and mentoring undergraduate students (27 graduated, plus two currently in my laboratory) as well as graduating 35 Masters students and 41 PhD students (14 of which graduated in the past six years), with another 12 doctoral students currently working in my laboratory. For my outstanding teaching and mentoring, I was awarded the 2012 Piper Professor Award, which is one of the highest honors conferred to a Professor in the State of Texas. I also was recognized with UTEP’s Graduate Mentor Award in 2016. Furthermore, I have a superb record in mentoring women and underrepresented minorities, which culminated in receiving the 2009 Distinguished Scientist of the Year Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS) and the 2017 Great Minds in Stem Education Awards. Very recently, I received the distinguished 2018 University of Texas System’s STARs Retention Award, which is perhaps the highest honor for a faculty member in the UT System.In addition to my work at UTEP, I have been an excellent ambassador for UTEP to Mexico and to the world, promoting collaborations and affiliations with CONACyT and with many Mexican universities. In 2017, I have earned the Outstanding Career Award from the Government of Mexico (CONACyT) for my work as a researcher and my valuable contributions to nanotechnology. I am also one of the three-committee members of the UT System with CONACyT, which formed CONTEX to fund Mexican students in the UT System’s institutions. Also, my research achievements are highlighted in the Lawrence Hall of Science of the University of California Berkeley. Additionally, my work has been published and highlighted in European venues, and I have been named an Honorary Professor by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013) and Nanjing University (2017). Finally, in January 1, 2011, I was appointed Associate Editor of Environmental Science and Technology.


  1. Environmental Nanotechnology
  2. Environmental Chemistry; Nano Safety
  3. Water Remediation; Agricultural Nanotechnology; X-ray Spectrometry; Phytoremediation