Liza Wilson Durant is the Director of the Northern Virginia Node of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative.
Durant serves as the associate dean for strategic initiatives and community engagement. Prior to her appointment as associate dean, she served as chair of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering. Durant conducts classes in environmental engineering, hydrologic engineering, environmental microbiology and information technology for engineers. She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where her research focused on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in aquifer materials under mixed electron acceptor conditions.
Durant’s research currently focuses on the use of microorganisms and biological processes to control the fate and transport of hazardous waste and to diminish contamination in the subsurface environment. She has extensive consulting experience on projects related to the feasibility and economics of hazardous waste management and remediation, contaminant fate and transport in the environment and risk assessment and reduction, and environmental dispute resolution. She was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Environmental Science and Engineering Fellowship twice. During her tenure as an AAAS fellow, she served as a science advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the National Center for Environmental Assessment and in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development.