The Team


Dr. Gruden has a wide variety of students working in her laboratory including undergraduate, MS, and PhD students. They each bring their unique background and skill set to address the challenge of stormwater management. This page, established in 2015, provides photos and bios of current and former students from the research group.


Bernard Bahaya, E.I.T (Texas-50779), is originally from Kabale, Uganda. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Makerere University Kampala in Uganda, and an MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In fall 2015, he began pursuing his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo under the supervision of Dr. Cyndee Gruden PhD P.E. He is using G.I.S to study stormwater management and modeling in Lucas County in Toledo, OH. He expects to graduate at the end of Fall 2018. Bernard Bahaya’s future plans include pursuing a post doctoral research position,p and becoming a licensed P.E. in the state of Ohio, before returning to Uganda to practice more Civil Engineering (Stormwater Management and Modeling) in academia as a professor and researcher at Makerere University. Prior to being accepted into the PhD Engineering program at the University of Toledo, Bernard Bahaya worked as a graduate Civil Engineer at Hydraulic and Sanitation Consult Uganda Limited in Kampala Uganda, June 2011 to June 2012, then as a G.I.S Data Analyst at the City of San Antonio in the Transportation and Capital Improvement Department, October 2014 to May 2015, then as a graduate intern at the Texas Water Development Board, Austin Texas in the Water Science and Conservation Department, Underground Water Division May 2015 to July 2015.


Muthana Al-Quraishi is a PhD student in the Department of Civil Engineering at UT.  He joined the Civil Engineering Department in the Fall of 2014. Muthana is working under Dr. Gruden’s supervision on modeling storm water quality by utilizing EPA SWMM.



Kely Amejecor completed his Geoscience and Environmental Studies double major at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. In 2016, he participated in research at the Finger Lakes Institute.  He used a fluoroprobe to study the concentration of nutrients and phytoplankton in the lakes.  In Summer 2017, he participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the University of Toledo, Lake Erie Center.  He worked with Dr. Gruden and PhD Student Bernard Bahaya to establish the performance of green stormwater infrastructure using real-time water level data.  After completing his BS degree, Kely plans to attend graduate school.

Kelley Davis

Kelley Davis completed a double major in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Toledo in 2018. She partcipated in the IRES NSF research team and conducted research on urban agriculture as it relates to water use and sustainability. In the past, she has conducted research with Dr. Defne Apul on the environmental impacts of rainwater harvesting using lifecycle analysis. Kelley is very interested in environmental engineering and sustainability and hopes to pursue a career or a graduate degree in the field.


Veronica “Ronnie” Joseph completed dual degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a minor in Business Administration in May of 2018. Ronnie participated in different extracurricular activities including ASCE’s concrete canoe team, Phi Sigma Rho Sorority, and is a 4-H advisor and instructor. She worked with Dr. Gruden on the EPA Urban Waters Project entitled Urban Greening in the Vistula Neighborhood. She is interested in construction, structures, and storm water management.

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Adam Haunhorst graduated with his MS in Environmental Engineering at The University of Toledo in May of 2018.  While at UT, he worked with the both United North and the Vistula Management Company,  developing and implementing green storm water infrastructure  within the Toledo, Vistula Neighborhood.  He graduated with a BS of Civil Engineering from The University of Toledo in December of 2016.  While completing his undergraduate degree he completed CO-OP experiences in a variety of different fields including general contracting and estimation, material testing, and city government.  In addition Adam is an adamant Scuba diver and has been a active member in the Toledo Dive club for 4 years.

Brooke Mason portrait

Brooke Mason completed her Masters in Civil Engineering at The University of Toledo (UT) in August of 2018. She has been involved with Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future, UT’s Student Green Fund, and the Women’s Club Ultimate Frisbee Team. She graduated summa cum laude from UT with her BS in Environmental Engineering in December 2016. While obtaining this degree she completed research with Dr. Defne Apul’s Sustainability Engineering Lab, working on life cycle assessments of photovoltaic cells. Prior to these degrees, she was UT’s Sustainability Specialist for three years, working to cultivate a culture of sustainability on campus. She graduated summa cum laude in 2012 from Bowling Green State University with her Bachelors in Environmental Policy and Analysis with a Sustainability Management specialization. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Systems Engineering at the University of Michigan.

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Milan K C completed his MS in Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Toledo under the supervision of Dr. Cyndee Gruden in December 2017. He completed his BS in Civil Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has previous teaching and field experience in Civil Engineering in Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Water Supply & Sanitary Engineering, Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering, Soil Conservation and Watershed management and Irrigation and Hydropower Engineering. During his Master’s Degree, he developed a laboratory-based method for estimating real-time soil infiltration rate by implementing soil moisture sensors.

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Bahareh Ertezaei completed her MS Degree in May 2017. Prior to joining the university of Toledo, she completed her BS in Electrical engineering in Iran. Her MS research was focused on real-time stormwater sensors and big data processing and analysis.  She also also worked on storm water modeling using EPA’s stormwater management model (SWMM).

Sai Kameshwar Rao Nittala (2)

Sai Kameshwar Nittala served as a graduate assistant for Dr. Gruden’s  Stormwater Management research group in 2016. He completed his Masters Degree in the field of Electrical Engineering at the University of Toledo in 2018 and has obtained his Bachelor of Technology degree from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India. His research in Dr. Gruden’s lab involved running controlled simulations and modeling of sites in PCSWMM to ascertain and  correlate the results obtained.


Cordaro L. Murry-Howard graduated with a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toledo in December 2018. He was involved with many different organizations on campus including Triangle Fraternity and the Rocket Marching Band. He hopes to work with oil refining, bio-fuels, or water quality after he graduates from UT. During Summer 2016, he worked on laboratory experiments related to nutrient removal in engineered media.


Rahul Yarlagadda was a research assistant for Dr. Gruden’s stormwater management research group. His duties included modeling of green infrastructure and its performance analysis in EPA’s stormwater management model (SWMM). He completed his Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toledo in 2015. Previously, he received his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical engineering from K L University, India.


Anthony Dietrich completed his Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo in August 2015. Anthony also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo. He received Engineer Intern certification from the State of Ohio Engineers and Surveyors Board in December 2012. During his MS program, he conducted research on green stormwater infrastructure design, monitoring, and modeling. His thesis was entitled “Estimation of stormwater runoff mitigation in Lucas County, Ohio using SWMM modeling and GIS analysis.”


India Harris is a graduate of Central State University in Water Resources Management.  She participated in the University of Toledo Lake Erie Center REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program under Dr. Gruden’s supervision during Summer 2015. Her research project focused on testing and installing soil moisture sensors in green stormwater infrastructure.

Lisa Ponce

Lisa Ponce is an Environmental Resources Engineering Major at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She participated in the University of Toledo (Lake Erie Center) REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program during Summer 2015. She worked under Dr. Gruden’s direction collecting real-time water elevation data to help to calibrate a stormwater management model. After college, she plans to fulfill her dream of working as a humanitarian engineer and provide clean water to underserved communities.


Tyler Watts received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a minor in Business Administration at the University of Toledo in August 2015. Tyler completed an independent study with Dr. Gruden focused on stormwater monitoring and communication. Her love for people, and her passion in the environment and water resources, drives her interests to use these skills to help communities around the world gain access to clean water. She recently returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to start her career in private sector consulting.

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Aishwarya Penmetcha completed her MS Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Toledo. She joined the department in January 2014. Her research focused on monitoring the performance of green stormwater infrastructure at UT. Her work included analyzing the stormwater for various physical, chemical and biological contaminants. She is a member of the professional organizations AWWA, ASCE and SWE. She currently resides in North Carolina and is working in private sector consulting.


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