Jeongdae Im | Associate Professor

Photo of Jeongdae Im

Fornelli Keystone Research Scholar

Jeffrey and Joy Lessman Keystone Research Scholar

Ph.D. - University of Michigan
Civil and Environmental Engineering
M.S. - Seoul National University
Civil and Environmental Engineering
B.S. - Seoul National University
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact information

2129 Fiedler Hall
Personal webpage

Professional experience

Jeongdae Im received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Seoul National University. Before pursuing his doctorate, he worked for one of the largest construction companies in Korea as a research and development engineer. He designed and operated a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor for wastewater reuse. In 2006, he came to the United States to pursue a doctorate degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Michigan. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Tennessee from 2011 to 2015, and as a research assistant professor in the microbiology department at the University of Massachusetts until 2017.


Im’s overarching research goal is to promote the development of sustainable biotechnologies for Water-Energy-Health-Climate nexus, by examining diverse catabolic activities of microbes, and by harnessing their activities for environmental engineering applications. In this vein, his primary research focus includes: (a) investigating biological and biologically mediated abiotic (BMAD) processes that influence contaminant fate and nutrient cycling in natural and engineered systems; (b) deciphering plant-microbe interactions using plant cell cultures for environmental engineering applications; (c) developing biotechnologies for control, reduction and utilization of greenhouse gases (CH4, N2O and fluorinated gases); and (d) understanding fate of emerging contaminants in the context of human health. He has been awarded six research grants with a total of more than $1 million dollars to support his research.

Im is seeking motivated students who are interested in pursuing graduate degrees in environmental biotechnology. If you are interested in joining his lab, please don’t hesitate to contact him at

Academic highlights

In 2022, he was awarded NSF-Career Award for a study on mechanisms and control of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from forage conservation process. The CAREER Award is the most prestigious and competitive NSF award for young faulty members. Im’s Award, the largest CAREER Award ever received by K-State College of Engineering faculty member, brings to 19 the number of current K-State College of Engineering faculty members who have received the honor. Also, Im has been closely collaborating with industry and recently obtained research grants from the American Chemistry Council and Pioneer/Corteva. Im authored and/or co-authored 27 journal articles, 29 conference papers and four technical reports. He holds two patents, one of which has been successfully applied in over 44 waste water treatment facilities in Korea as of 2017. In 2021, he filed two provisional patents. He is an active reviewer for peer-reviewed journals such as Environmental Science and Technology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Frontiers in Microbiology etc.

Recent faculty publications
  • Shobnam, N.; Mahmood, M.; Sun, Y.; Löffler, F.E.; Im, J. Biologically mediated abiotic bisphenol A degradation by Mn-oxidizing bacteria. J. Hazard. Mater. 2021, 417, 125987.
  • Sun, Y.; Im, J.; Shobnam, N.; Fanourakis, S.K.; He, L.; Anovitz, L.M.; Erickson, P.R.; Sun, H.; Zhuang, J.; Löffler, F.E. Degradation of Adsorbed Bisphenol A by Soluble Mn(III). Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021,55, 13014–13023.
  • Lim, K.; Kannan, A. D.; Shobnam, N.; Mahmood, M.; Im, J. Gemmobacter serpentinus sp. nov., isolated from conserved forages. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 2020, 70, 4224-4232
  • Im, J.; Mack, E.E.; Seger, E.; Löffler, F.E. Biotic and abiotic degradation of 1,1,2-trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane (CFC-113): Implications for bacterial detoxification of chlorinated ethenes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 11941-11948
  • Green, R.; Sang, H.; Im, J.; Jung, G. Chlorothalonil Biotransformation by Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenases in Sclerotinia homoeocarpa. FEMS Microbial. Lett. 2018, 365 (19) fny 214
  • Sang, H.; Hulvey, J.P.; Green, R.; Xu, H.; Im, J.; Chang, T.; Jung., G. A Xenobiotic Detoxification Pathway through Transcriptional Regulation in Filamentous Fungi. mBio. 2018, 9 (4) e00457-18
  • Şimşir, B.; Yan, J.; Im, J.; Graves, D.; Löffler, F.E. Natural attenuation in streambed sediment receiving chlorinated solvents from underlying fracture networks. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, 51, 4812-4830