Focus Area: Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP)

The mission of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership is to advance the evolving field of sustainable stormwater management and to foster the development of public and private partnerships through research.


During the last decade there has been a rapidly increasing interest in the use of Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) to treat various forms of water pollution including runoff and peak flows. Recognizing the need for research and public education, Villanova has created a Research and Demonstration Park on campus. As of the writing, many SCMs have been constructed to include a stormwater wetland; numerous rain gardens, including a site that compares bio-infiltration with bio-retention; permeable pavements, including a side-by-side comparison of pervious concrete and porous asphalt; infiltration trench; green roof and a treatment train consisting of a bioswale, raingarden, and infiltration trench.

Research work at the VUSP is supported by the Fluid Mechanics Lab, Soils Testing Lab and the Water Resources Teaching and Research Laboratory (WRTRL). 

Current Grants

  • Reversing Development Impacts Through Green Infrastructure Restoration. Awarded by PA DEP to Drs. Wadzuk and Traver.
  • I95/Girard Avenue Interchange Stormwater Project. Awarded by Penn DOT/AECOM to Dr. Traver.
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Stormwater Controls at the Promenade at Granite Run. Awarded by William Penn Foundation to Dr. Welker.
  • Watershed Protection Application: Target Sub-Watershed Cluster Implementation. Awarded by William Penn Foundation to Dr. Welker.
  • Optimal Balance of Infiltration-Evapotranspiration for Vegetated SCMs. Awarded by PA DEP to Drs. Wadzuk and Welker.
  • Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity in Smart Stormwater Green Infrastructure Services. Awarded by NSF PFI BIC to Drs. Wadzuk, Traver and Gehlot.
  • Forensic Analysis and Retrofit of an Aged Infiltration Trench SCM. Awarded by PA DEP Growing Greener Plus to Drs. Komlos, Welker, Wadzuk and Traver.
  • Green Cities Clean Water Research Center. Awarded by Philadelphia Water to Drs. Traver, Wadzuk and Welker.
  • Philadelphia's Clean Water Initiative. Awarded by EPA STAR to Drs. Traver, Wadzuk and Welker.
  • Rain Garden Configuration to Maximize Hydrologic Performance. Awarded by PADEP to Dr. Traver and Dr. Welker.
  • Analysis and Prediction of Evapotranspiration Benefits from SCMs. Awarded by PA DEP to Dr. Wadzuk.
  • National Monitoring Site Program (319 grants): This proposal is to continue the National Monitoring Site Program for the period of 2016 – 2019.  This grant creates the foundation for long term research in the VUSP focus area that addresses issues of importance to Pennsylvania’s non point source pollution program, and attracts research from outside Pennsylvania PaDEP and EPA region III, greatly leveraging the 319 program commitment.

Our research work wouldn't have been possible without the aforementioned grants and the support from VUSP friends, members and partners. It should also be noted that the research direction for the sites under study is developed with the input of the VUSP Partners.



Shackelford, C.D., Meier, A., Sample-Lord, K. (2016). Limiting membrane and diffusion behavior of a geosynthetic clay liner, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, 44 (5), pp. 707-718

Sample-Lord, K.M., Shackelford, C.D. (2016). Solute diffusion in bentonite pastes, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 142 (8), pp. 04016033

Vacca, K.,Komlos, J., Wadzuk, B.M. (2016).Phosphorus removal in constructed stormwater wetland mesocosms amended with water treatment residuals, Water Environment Research, 88 (9), pp. 898-906

Zaremba, G., Traver, R., and Wadzuk, B. (2016). "Impact of Drainage on Green Roof Evapotranspiration." J. Irrig. Drain Eng. ,10.1061/(ASCE)IR.1943-4774.0001022 , 04016022.

Lee, R., Traver, R., and Welker, A. (2016). "Evaluation of Soil Class Proxies for Hydrologic Performance of In Situ Bioinfiltration Systems." J. Sustainable Water Built Environ. , 10.1061/JSWBAY.0000813 , 04016003.


VU Grad Students at ET Bioinfiltration Research Site
Tour at Fedigan Rain Gardens
CEER Green Roof


Robert Traver, Ph.D., PE, D.WRE. F.EWRI., F. ASCE

Andrea Welker, Ph.D., PE,

Bridget Wadzuk, Ph.D.

Virginia Smith, Ph.D.
Alternate Lead

John Komlos, Ph.D.

Kristin Sample-Lord, Ph.D., PE