Dr. Temesgen Garoma

Dr. Temesgen Garoma

Associate Dean, Professor, Blasker Chair in ENVE, Director of ENVE Program

Academic Affairs
College of Engineering
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

San Diego

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, California 92124


Dr. Garoma is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. He is the Blasker Chair in Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Environmental Engineering Program. Currently he serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Engineering. He completed a Ph.D. degree in Engineering Mechanics (Environmental Engineering) from the Joint Doctoral Program between the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University in 2004. He received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and an M.S. degree in Geotechnical Engineering from University of Hannover, Germany.

Areas of Specialization

The emphasis of Dr. Garoma’s research is on water and wastewater treatment, resource recovery, and renewable energy. His current research focus is on biofuels production from algal biomass, resource recovery from wastewater and integration of wastewater treatment with energy production. In the past, he served as the principal investigator on several research projects that focused on the application of advanced oxidation processes and the formation of disinfection byproducts during ozonation and chlorination of drinking water and wastewater effluents.

Awards & Honors

2017 World Water Forum, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 

2007-2012 Technical Advisory Committee, San Diego Coast Keeper

2007-2012 Technical Advisory Committee, San Diego Citizen Watershed Monitoring Consortium

2007 American Public Works Association, Central California Chapter

1998-2000 DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Scholarship


Professional Engineer, Registered in State of California


EnvE 356 - Environmental Chemistry for Engineers

EnvE 554 - Process Fundamentals of Environmental Systems

EnvE 645 - Aquatic Chemistry for Environmental Engineers


PhD - Environmental Eng., University of California-San Diego and San Diego State University, 2004

MSc - Geotechnical Eng., University of Hannover, 2000

BSc - Civil Eng., Addis Ababa University, 1996


  • Solar Thermal Energy Concentrated with Fresnel Lens for Seawater Desalination, Bureau of Reclamation and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI)
  • A New Approach for Seawater Desalination, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI)
  • A Novel Water and Energy Saving Strategy – the Use of Secondary Effluent for Algal Biomass Cultivation, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI)
  • Energy-efficient and cost-effective microalgae disruption for extraction of lipids for biodiesel production, California Energy Commission (Role: PI; Co-PIs: Drs. Beyene (SDSU) & Balsdon (SDSU)
  • Development of next-generation feedstock for biomethane production, California Energy Commission (Role: PI)
  • Electroporation of algal biomass to enhance methane gas production, California Energy Commission (Role: PI; Co-PI: Dr. Engin)
  • Evaluation of media for storm water treatment, URS Corporation (Role: PI)
  • Environmental impact assessment tools, California Energy Commission (Role: Co-PI; PI: Dr. Beyene)
  • Formation of halonitromethanes during ozonation of drinking water, Bureau of Reclamation and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI)
  • Compressible filters from flexible granular media, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI; Co-PI: Dr. Valdes)
  • Enhanced anaerobic digestion: a sanitation and energy recovery technology, Great Challenge Explorations, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Role: PI)
  • Significance of sub-therapeutic levels of ciprofloxacin in the environment, San Diego Foundation Science and Technology Blasker (Role: PI)
  • Disinfection of secondary effluent using surfactants immobilized on the surfaces of minerals, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Role: PI)
  • The San Diego watershed ambient water quality monitoring by citizens project, California State Water Resources Control Board (Role: Co-PI; PI: Dr. Badri)


Yazdi, R.; Garoma, T. 2022. Algal biomass harvesting using low-grade waste heat: The effect of waste heat temperature and air speed on dewatering algal suspension. Biofuels 13 (7), 895-905

Yazdi, R.; Garoma, T. 2022. Algal biomass harvesting using low-grade waste heat: Investigation of dewatering algal suspension by evaporation. Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications 14 (5)

Garoma, T.; Yazdi, R. 2021. Algal Biomass Harvesting Using Low-Grade Waste Heat: Evaluation of Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient in a Heat Exchanger. Journal of Heat Transfer, 143 (1), https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4048473

Kinger, R; Garoma, T. 2021. Ultrasound processing of Chlorella vulgaris and a novel functional classification of power ultrasound test systems. Biofuels https://doi.org/10.1080/17597269.2018.1496386

Garoma, T.; Yazdi, R., Chin, C., Jain, A. 2019. Chlorella vulgaris cell disruption using copper sulfate. Biofuels, https://doi.org/10.1080/17597269.2019.1573604

Garoma, T.; Yazdi, R. 2019. Investigation of the disruption of algal biomass with chlorine. BMC Plant Biology, 19:18, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1614-9

Kinger, R; Garoma, T. 2018. Growth media selection: the relationship between growth medium used for microalgal cultivation and the susceptibility of cells to disruption by low frequency power ultrasound. Journal of Energy Resources Technology doi: 10.1115/1.4041090

Garoma, T.; Pappaterra, D. 2018. An investigation of ultrasound effect on digestate solubilization and methane yield. Waste Management 71, 728-733


Novel treatment processes for water and wastewater

Biofuel production

Resources recovery and utilization from waste streams

Seawater desalination