The ever-increasing food, water, and energy demands are driven by higher consumption and a growing global population has transformed the world economically, politically, and ecologically. Smits’ research team believes that solutions to food, water, and energy issues must be informed by scientific understanding and community values. Therefore, we (1) develop and implement novel science and engineering solutions to best understand water, food, and energy issues and (2) engage with diverse stakeholders to include local communities, policymakers, and industry in productive discussions about sustainable solutions. The motivation to Smits’ research group is to answer questions applied to many current and emerging problems such as greenhouse gas emissions, evapotranspiration, agricultural yields, the remediation of contaminated soil, and the storage of renewable energy. Smits’ research combines theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches to address food, water, and energy concerns occurring near the earth’s surface. Her group’s main focus is performing detailed and highly controlled experiments at the lab and field scales that are then used to develop and test theories and numerical models to develop solutions. Please visit our research interests and the team pages to learn more about our current projects. Our publications page highlights our growing contribution to our field. Visit our facilities pages to get an idea of our capabilities. Please contact Dr. Smits directly if you are interested in discussing potential opportunities.

Please visit our research interests and the team pages to learn more about our current projects. Our publications page highlights our growing contribution to our field. Visit our facilities pages to get an idea of our capabilities. Please contact Dr. Smits directly if you are interested in discussing potential opportunities.

Student Opportunities

If you’re interested in becoming a member of our team as an undergraduate, graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, or even as a high school intern please feel free to inquire with me directly. Information about admission to the MS or PhD in either Civil Engineering Program.


Recent News

Launch of SEN Educational Collective

Hello everyone! Please check out our newly launched website of an educational collective which will host numerous teaching resources for environmental and natural science education. This website will be actively updated with these lessons plans. They will be written in English and Spanish to increase its accessibility with the intention of reaching a global audience. …

Postcards from the Field: Back to the Field

Back to the Field! Hello from the Methane Emissions Technology Evaluation Center (METEC) (https://energy.colostate.edu/metec/) at Colorado State University (CSU) in Ft Collins! I’m Navodi Jayarathne, a PhD student in Kate Smits research group (https://smitshydrolab.uta.edu/)  at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). As part of multiple interdisciplinary projects funded by the Department of Transportation, Energy and …