Harry R. Diz

Professor, Environmental Science & Engr.
Dir Cntr Excell Bioenergy, Environmental Science & Engr.
Phone: 814-871-7633
Office: Z 424

  • Educational History
  • Professional Societies
  • Publications
  • Scholarship/Research

Educational History

• Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (1997)
• M. S., Environmental Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (1994)
• M. A.T, Teaching Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ (1974)
• B. A.,  Zoology, Duke University, Durham, NC (1969)

Professional Societies

• Licensed Professional Engineer (Pennsylvania, Virginia)


Patent Issued:
• US Patent 7,473,552 B2 issued January 6, 2009: Production of Hydrogen Gas and Isolation of Hydrogen Producing Microorganisms Using Replenishing Coated Substrates.

Selected Grants
• Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA, Translational Research in Energy Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ($65,000). Torrefaction of Organic Wastes for the Production of Solid Fuel Pellets.  July, 2011 – June, 2012.
• Cooney-Jackman Endowment. Renewable Energy Grant.  2011-2013.  ($67,500).
• Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ($60,000). Year Two funding to continue the Center of Excellence in Bioenergy at Gannon University. 2010-2011.
• Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ($60,000). Year One funding to create the Center of Excellence in Bioenergy at Gannon University. 2009-2010.
• Nanologix, Inc. ($200,000).  Microbial Production of Hydrogen Gas from Simulated Wastewater:  2005-2007.
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Zone Management Program, administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Environmental Protection ($20,900). Stream Monitoring of Pennsylvania's Lake Erie Streams for Signs of Non-Point Source Pollution; 2004-2006.
• US Army Corps of Engineers ($60,339). Sediment Transport Modeling of Mil Creek, Pennsylvania; 2003-2004.
• Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Program ($21,350)  Pennsylvania Lake Erie Streams: Physical & Chemical Habitat Factors. 2003-2005.
• Principal Investigator: Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority ($50,000). Hydrology, Modeling, and Restoration of Cascade Creek; 2001-2002.
• Principle Investigator: Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program ($5,000) - Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Arsenic in Presque Isle Sediments. 2000 – 2001.
• Co-Principle Investigator: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Growing Greener Program ($63,364) - Presque Isle Bay Watershed Assessment. 2000 - 2002.
• Principle Investigator: USEPA (GLNPO), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ($93,668).  3D Mapping of Contaminants in Presque Isle Bay Sediments.  1999-2001.
• Principle Investigator: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ($31,637). Cascade Creek Water Quality Monitoring, Erie, Pennsylvania.  1999-2000.
• USEPA STAR Fellowship ($54,764); Chemical and Biological Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage for the Removal of Heavy Metals and Acidity; Doctoral Dissertation..

Selected Publications & Presentations
• Diz, H.R., B. Amsler. 2011.  A New Bridge between Waste Management and Energy: Solid Fuel Production by Means of Torrefaction of Agricultural Residues.  Presentation to the 2011 AEESP Education and Research Conference, University of South Florida, Tampa, Fl, July, 2011.
• Diz, H.R., M. Wolford. 2011.  Marcellus Shale Gas Well Drilling: Is the Environmental Threat Real?  Inaugural Presentation in the Cooney-Jackman Endowed Speaker Series on Energy and the Environment, April 19, 2011, Gannon University, Erie, PA.
• Diz, H.R., 2007.  Sustained Microbial Production of Hydrogen Gas From Diluted Fruit Juice.  US Patent Application Publication No. US 2007/017850 A1; August 2, 2007.
• Diz, H.R.2007.  Microbial Production of Hydrogen from Sugar-rich Wastewater: Design and Operating Principles for Bioreactors Based on pilot-scale experience.  Proceedings of the National Hydrogen Conference, San Antonio. March, 2007.
• Diz, H.R., May, 2006.  Assessment of heavy metals and PAHs in Presque Isle Bay sediments.  Presentation to 49th Annual Conference of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, Windsor, Ontario.
• Diz, H.R.. 2005. An Assessment of Sediment Contamination in Presque Isle Bay, PA, with Historical Comparisons. Journal of the Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management Society 8(1): 21-32.
• Diz, H.R., Bruno, T., Hudson, J., and Katta-Muddanna, M. 2004. Sediment Transport Modeling of Mill Creek and Cascade Creek in Erie, Pennsylvania; Contract No. DACW49-03-P-0021. Report to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District Office. August, 2004.
• Diz, H.R. & R. Johnson. 2002.  Physical and Chemical Assessment of Presque Isle Bay Watershed Streams.  Report to Erie County Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. June, 2002.
• Diz, H. R. 2002.  An Assessment of Sediment Quality in Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania.  Report to the Great Lakes National Program Office, US Environmental Protection Agency.  GLNPO Project No. GL97504701-01-0. August, 2002.
• Diz, H.R. 2002.  An Assessment of Sediment Quality in Presque Isle Bay using the USEPA's Triad Approach. Presentation to the 5th International Symposium on Sediment Quality Assessments, Chicago, IL, October, 2002. 
• Murnock, J. & H. R. Diz.  2001. Distribution of Arsenic In Presque Isle, PA, Pond Sediments.  Report to the Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program.  November, 2001.
• Diz, H.R., J.T. Novak, J.D. Rimstidt. 1999.  Iron Precipitation Kinetics  in Synthetic Acid Mine Drainage. Mine Water and the Environment - Journal of the International Mine Water Association. 18(1):1-14.
• Diz, H.R. and J. T. Novak. 1999.  Modeling Bio-Oxidation of Iron in a Packed-Bed Bioreactor.  ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering. 125(2):109-116.
• Diz, H. R.  1998.  The Selective Oxide SystemTM: A New Active Treatment for Acid Mine Drainage Which Avoids the Formation of Sludge. Mine Water and the Environment - Journal of the International Mine Water Association. 17(1): 1-7.
• Diz, H.R. and J. T. Novak.  1998.  Fluidized Bed for Removing Iron and Acidity From Acid Mine Drainage.  ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering 124(8):701-708.
• Diz, H.R. and G. D. Boardman. 1995. Removal of nutrients and ammonia from crab processing waters. in  Waste Management and Byproducts Recovery for the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Industry. Virginia Sea Grant Program, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA,  pp. 319-437.


Dr. Diz directs his research activities into two distinct but related areas: water quality and renewable energy.  Over the years, Dr. Diz and his students have extensively studied the water quality of streams along the Pennsylvania Lake Erie shoreline.  In addition to that, a recent area of work has been the utilization of organic waste materials, especially those from agricultural and food processing activities, for the production of renewable energy.  The design of systems to generate renewable fuels has employed both microbial processes, such as anaerobic digestion, as well as thermal conversion, a process known as torrefaction, that can convert most any low-moisture content organic material into fuel pellets similar to but superior to wood pellets.