Senior Environmental Scientist/Engineer, Legacy Environmental Services
9800 Connecticut Drive
Crown Point, IN 46307
Dr. Backhus has devoted most of her 20+ year career to water related issued. She began her professional career in academia spending 14 years as a professor of Environmental Sciences in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana. Her research focused on lab, field and modeling efforts to understand how pollutants move around the environment. Projects included studying the dynamics of PCB releases into streams from superfund sites and pollutant transport through wetlands.
Deb’s teaching portfolio included Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Problems and Solutions, Exploring Bioavailability and Environmental Engineering courses. The latter course had a significant focus on water and wastewater treatment processes.
In 2006 Deb left her tenured faculty position to move to Northwest Indiana and head up a Research and Development lab for Advanced Concepts and Technologies International (ACT I). Her water related projects in this position included 1) evaluation of water treatment technologies to improve the US Army’s Reverse Osmosis-based portable drinking water facilities and 2) development of a low cost, simple to use, high capability, field portable online monitoring systems for detection of trace levels of toxic organic contaminants in water.
Deb left ACT I in 2011 and is currently pursuing a new passion in helping businesses, municipalities, schools and other organizations identify sustainable practices that improve the environment while lowering costs. Dr. Backhus works on these efforts with Legacy Environmental Services and an associated not-for-profit, South Shore Clean Cities. In this capacity, Deb hopes to expand on current work at the water-energy nexus and broaden efforts with water and wastewater treatment facilities in achieving cost savings through green initiatives.