Dr. John C. Little

Civil & Environmental Engineering

John C. Little is the Charles E. Via Jr. Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. Little is a nationally and internationally recognized faculty member whose research focuses on two areas, indoor air pollution and lake and reservoir management. Both areas deal with mass transfer processes in environmental systems and Little is recognized as a leading expert in both areas. More recently, he has broadened his research to include interdisciplinary systems science, focusing on sustainable societal systems. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and has secured more than $10 million in research funding. Dr. Little has spent extended periods in China, Spain, Taiwan, and Switzerland collaborating on research.

On campus, he played a central role in securing a $3.2 million National Science Foundation IGERT award and served as director for half the project period. He also served as co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Environmental Biogeochemistry, a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program funded for $1.1 million. Collectively, these two programs provided support for about 40 interdisciplinary Ph.D. students at Virginia Tech.

Little received a National Science Foundation Career Award in 1996, was elected to the Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate in 2008, and received the North American Lake Management Society Technical Merit Research Award in 2014. One Ph.D. student, Ying Xu, received the 2011 Yaglou Award from the Academy of Indoor Air Sciences for being the most promising young researcher in the indoor air sciences field, while another Ph.D. student, Lee Bryant, received the 2011 Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award for her PhD dissertation in the environmental science and engineering field.

  • Water quality in lakes, reservoirs and watersheds
  • Chemicals in air and water – characterizing sources and exposure
  • Sustainable societal systems

Email       Department website


Recent Publications

Liu, Z., Howard Reed, C., Cox, S. S., Ye, W. and Little, J. C. “Diffusion-controlled Reference Material for VOC Emissions Testing: Effect of Temperature and Humidity” Indoor Air, Vol. 24, 2014, pp. 283−291.

Hester, E. T. and Little, J. C. “Measuring Environmental Sustainability of Water in Watersheds,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 47, 2013, pp. 8083-8090.

Singleton, V. L., Jacob, B., Feeney, M. T. and Little, J. C. “Modeling a Proposed Quarry Reservoir for Raw Water Storage in Atlanta, Georgia,” Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 139, 2013, pp. 70-78.

Benning, J. L., Liu, Z., Tiwari, A., Little, J. C. and Marr, L. C. “Characterizing Gas-Particle Interactions of Phthalate Plasticizer Emitted from Vinyl Flooring,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 47, 2013, pp. 2696-2703.

Little, J. C., Weschler, C. J., Nazaroff, W. W., Liu, Z. and Cohen Hubal, E. A. “Rapid Methods to Estimate Potential Exposure to Semivolatile Organic Compounds in the Indoor Environment,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 46, 2012, pp. 11171-11178.

Xu, Y., Liu, Z., Park, J., Clausen, P. A., Benning, J. L., Little, J. C. “Measuring and Predicting the Emission Rate of Phthalate Plasticizer from Vinyl Flooring in a Specially-Designed Chamber,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 46, 2012, pp. 12534-12541.

Adams, W. A., Xu, Y., Little, J. C., Fristachi, A. F., Rice, G. E., and Impellitteri, C. A. “Predicting the Migration Rate of Dialkyl Organotins from PVC Pipe into Water,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 45, 2011, pp. 6902-6907.

Bryant, L. D., Lorrai, C., McGinnis, D. F., Brand, A., Wuest, A. and Little, J. C. “Variable Sediment Oxygen Uptake in Response to Dynamic Forcing,” Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 55, No. 2, 2010, pp. 950-964.

Singleton, V. L., Rueda, F. J. and Little, J. C. “A Coupled Bubble Plume-Reservoir Model for Hypolimnetic Oxygenation,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 46, 2010, W12538.

Gantzer, P. A., Bryant, L. D. and Little, J. C. “Controlling Soluble Iron and Manganese in a Water-Supply Reservoir using Hypolimnetic Oxygenation,” Water Research, Vol. 43, 2009, 1285-1294.