University of California, Riverside

Kawai Tam

About the Professor


Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Kawai Tam

2013 photo final

Associate Teaching Professor
Lecturer with Security of Employment (LSOE)
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Bourns Hall A235
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Telephone: 951-827-2498
Facsimile: 951-827-5696

Brief Biography:

Kawai Tam received her Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from McGill University in 2002. Her doctoral research focused on bioremediation and wastewater treatment with an emphasis on the characterization of mixed culture population dynamics using molecular microbiology techniques. She earned her Master’s in Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1994 with her thesis on comparative treatment options for the neutralization of acidic mine drainage. Her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a focus on waste treatment and pollution control was received in 1992. In her post-doctoral research, she also studied environmental and dental biofilms using piezoelectric and impedance spectroscopy techniques, protein separation using nanotechnology and biological production of selenium nanoparticles of controlled size. Dr. Tam also worked as a consultant conducting research at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Center in 1994-1995. She has been teaching at UCR in the department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering since 1997 in courses at many levels including freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and graduate levels.


  • Ph.D., Biosystems Engineering, McGill University, 2002
  • M. Eng., Chemical Engineering, McGill University, 1994
  • B. Eng., Chemical Engineering, McGill University, 1992


  • World Water Forum Award (2017)
  • Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development, First Place (2015)
  • Orange County Engineering Council, Outstanding Engineering Educator Award (2015)
  • Western Municipal Water District Travel Awards (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017)
  • Western Municipal Water District Water Educator of the Year Award (2007)
  • UCR Non-Senate Faculty (NSF) Professional Development Fund Award (2005-06 / 2006-07 / 2008-09/ 2009-10/ 2010-11/ 2012-13/ 2013-16)
  • UCR Instructional Support in Undergraduate Education Award (2007)
  • UCR Faculty Minigrant Award (2006)
  • The Marlan & Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering Outstanding Lecturer Award (2004-2005)
  • ACS PRF scholarship for summer training on Sustainability Science and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005)

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Tel: (951) 827-2859
Fax: (951) 827-5696

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