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H. Christopher Frey

Research Interests



Current and Recent Projects

Past Projects

Computer Laboratory

Frey Research Group

Professional Activities

Real-World Vehicle Emissions

Research Group:  An Introduction for Prospective Students and Postdocs

The Frey Research Group encompasses research and educational opportunities at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral level.  The Frey Research Group is international, including students and alumni of the group from Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Korea, Turkey, and the United States.  Thus, one could say that students have come from five continents to study and participate in the research and academic activities of the group.


Undergraduate Research Experiences.  The Frey Research Group has included numerous undergraduate research assistants, some through Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs and some via Undergraduate Research Awards.  Undergraduate students have been involved closely in field work, analysis of data, and development of models and software.  For undergraduate students interested in doing research in the Frey group,  NC State University offers undergraduate research awards which provide financial support for qualified undergraduates on a competitive basis.  Anyone interested in applying for such an award in conjunction with research that could be carried out in the Frey Research Group is encouraged to contact Dr. Frey early in the Fall of each academic year.  Applications for undergraduate research awards are typically due early in the fall.

At the Graduate level, the activities of the Frey Research Group are exemplified by the final product of scholarly work, which is the master’s thesis or PhD dissertation.  These are listed below.  Nearly all of the graduate research assistants have produced or contributed to technical reports as well as conference and journal papers.  The research methods range from computer-based modeling and simulation of process technologies or environmental systems to field-work involving measurement of real-world vehicle activity, fuel use, and emissions. 


Prospective graduate students who are interested in joining the Frey Research Group should apply for admission to the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, and indicate a preference for the Water Resources and Environmental Engineering program.  In the statement of purpose, it is helpful to specifically indicate interest in joining Dr. Frey’s group and to explain relevant background, interests, and examples of ideas for research that is likely to be of mutual interest.  Financial aid is available in the form of stipend, health insurance, and tuition but is often highly competitive.  Those seeking financial aid should clearly indicate their interest in a research assistantship, a teaching assistantship, or either.


The research program is supported by relevant courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  For example, Dr. Frey teaches CE 476/576 Air Pollution Control, CE 479/579 Air Quality, and CE/NE 772 Environmental Exposure and Risk Assessment.  Graduate students in Dr. Frey’s group typically take these courses, as well as other courses in environmental engineering, other engineering disciplines (most typically chemical engineering), physical and mathematical sciences (e.g., marine, earth, and atmospheric sciences; statistics), natural resources (e.g., geographic information systems), and elsewhere within NC State’s 10 schools and colleges.  Students at NC State may register for classes at Duke University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thereby opening up unique opportunities to develop highly specialized plans of study that draw upon resources of multiple universities, if so desired.  Each student may develop their own individualized plan of study in collaboration with their advisor; thus, there is tremendous flexibility for students to pursue academic programs tailored to their career objectives.


There have been numerous post-doctoral research associates (“postdocs”) who have been part of the Frey Research Group.  These postdocs have been successful not only in conducting high quality research and producing contributions to knowledge via conference presentations, conference papers, journal papers, and technical reports, but many have been active in developing new research areas and continue to do so throughout their careers.


Many of the projects conducted by the Frey group are collaborative with other faculty and involve teams of faculty and students and possibly postdocs.  Some projects involve collaboration between undergraduate and graduate research assistants.  Some projects might be conducted independently by one research assistant, working closely with Dr. Frey.  At any given time, there are typically multiple research projects being conducted concurrently in related areas.  Thus, even for students who are working independently on a topic area, there is still comraderie with other students who may be using similar methods in related areas.  For all students and postdocs in the group, there is regular contact with Dr. Frey.


Graduates of the Frey Group have taken positions most typically at universities, consulting firms, engineering products companies, government agencies, and nonprofit research institutes, representing a variety of interests ranging from highly applied engineering or science to policy-oriented implementation or planning. 


The titles of the theses and dissertations given below provide an indication of the variety of research topics that have been the focus of work by undergraduate research assistants, graduate research assistants, and postdocs in the Frey group.

THESES AND DISSERTATIONS:  For a complete listing, visit the publications page.