Facilities and Research

Research Projects

I am a hydrogeochemist with additional expertise in data sciences, driven by a research interest at the interface between humankind and water cycle. I use field-based and geochemical laboratory-based approaches (e.g., noble gases, stable isotopes, and water chemistry) to shed light on the environmental implications of human activities on water resources. I also apply data mining algorithms to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of water quantity and quality in the coupled natural and human system. I am particularly interested in water sustainability and the connection between energy/agriculture/urbanization and water quality.

Interested students and researchers can reach out to me for details of on-going and upcoming projects.


Water Chemistry Instrumentation

  • Instrumentation in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES)
    • Two-Column Dionex Reagent Free Ion Chromatography System, ICS-2000, with autosampler (PI: Dr. Lautz)
    • Picarro L2130-i Water Isotope Analyzer, with autosampler (PI: Dr. Lautz)
    • Barnstead NANApure DIamond Ultrapure Water System (PI: Dr. Lautz)
    • Quadrupole Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Bruker Daltronics Aurrora M90 (PI: Dr. Lu)
  • Other Labs at Syracuse University and Neighboring SUNY ESF
    • Center for Environmental Systems Engineering (CESE) at Syracuse University: The CESE laboratories occupy the 4th floor of Link Hall, which is centrally located on the Syracuse University campus. The accommodations are newly constructed and comprise of 22,000 square feet, including core laboratories and individual faculty laboratories. The core laboratories include a microbiology, soil, 3 analytical, water, acid wash, trace metals and state of the art Class 10,000 clean room. In addition, there is a radioactive isotope laboratory, dark room, 3 constant temperature rooms, cold room, computer lab for students equipped with personal computers and printers, and a teaching laboratory. The facilities have been designed with versatility required for interdisciplinary research.
    • Analytical and Technical Services (A&TS) at SUNY ESF: A&TS has developed an extensive portfolio of chemical analysis methods and capabilities in computer and instrument repair, electronic design and chemical stockroom services to complement the academic activities of the ESF community. Provided services include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GS/MS), liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), instrument and equipment repair and fabrication, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), chemical and laboratory apparatus stockroom, and polymer rheology and mechanical properties.

Research Computing Resources

  • Student workstation for my group use only
  • Data Centers: Syracuse University host a state-of-the-art data center, including 6,000 square feet of floor space and 450 kilowatts of power and cooling. It is now the main center for production computing resources, marrying research and administrative computing interests. The internal data center network is a mix of 10 and 40 Gigabit connectivity, with redundant connections to all hosts and network components whenever possible. The data center supports a robust virtual private cloud where 98% of campus servers have been consolidated. The data center is connected to the campus network and secondary data center via two bundles of geographically diverse, 144 strand fiber paths. This can be and has been used to provide direct connectivity between a researcher’s campus building and the hosted area in the primary data center.
  • Academic Virtual Hosting Environment (AVHE): The Academic Virtual Hosting Environment (AVHE) provides a virtual computing cloud to the Syracuse University research community, lowering the bar of entry for small to medium sized research efforts. The AVHE platform provides two Petabytes of storage, 1000 cores, and 25TB of memory for research use. The AVHE uses virtualization to provide flexibility and hardware sharing to allow multiple researchers to operate on an underlying server and storage infrastructure.  This lower bar of entry and flexibility provides an environment that supports both traditional and non-traditional computational research.  The AVHE supports Windows and Linux operating systems with a dynamic resource allocation model for easy scaling and configuration. Beyond supporting individual workloads, another use case for the AVHE is building small to medium sized virtualized research computing clusters, reducing the need for researchers to build and maintain small physical clusters. The AVHE utilizes the abilities of virtualization to provide high availability, which automatically migrates workload to alternate resources in the case of physical server failure.  Backup services within the AVHE are a standard service provided to researchers.
  • Crush: Crush is a medium scale virtualized research cloud. It is designed to be allocated for compute intensive work and to be used in tandem with the AVHE where the data and work scheduling infrastructure are maintained. A primary use case for Crush is the provisioning of a “cluster within a cluster” providing access to dedicated, customized compute nodes for high-performance and high-throughput computing. Nodes within Crush provide a diverse set of configurations including high density processing power, high speed disk I/O, and high-speed networking. Currently Crush consists of 25,000 cores and 150 Terabytes of memory.