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Markus Hilpert, PhD

  • Senior Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E7532
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


Fall Semester 2015, Applied Mathematics for Engineering:
Personal website:


PhD, University of Karlsruhe, 1997
MS, University of Karlsruhe, 1993


Research Statement

My group applies its strong foundations in physics, mathematics, computational methods, and engineering towards solving problems pertaining to flow and particle transport in the environment.  We work at the interface between theory, numerical simulation, and experimentation.  We develop and use models for multiphase flow in porous media and examine transport of solutes, colloids, pathogens therein.  Our numerical approaches, which include lattice-Boltzmann and pore-network modeling, can address a very broad range of transport scenarios.  Recent and current research projects include

  1. Effects of bacterial chemotaxis on contaminant degradation in subsurface environments,
  2. Colloid and pathogen transport in subsurface environments and water filteration systems,
  3. Spreading of antibiotic resistance in poultry-waste impacted soil,
  4. Dynamic effects in capillary pressure for multiphase flow in porous media, and
  5. Effects of seismic waves on multiphase flow.

Most recently, I have also begun research that will allow for a more comprehensive exposure assessment of contamination of residential areas by hydrocarbon-contaminated flood waters, and soil contamination by small but chronic hydrocarbon spills.

Professional Service

  1. Associate Editor, Water Resources Research, 2004-Present
  2. Member of the Editorial Board of Advances in Water Resources, 2004-Present
  3. Co-editor (with Brent Lindquist, SUNY at Stony Brook) for a  Special Issue on "Pore-scale Modeling'' in Advances in Water Resources (2004-2006)
  4. Co-editor (with Martin Blunt, Imperial College, London) for a Special Issue on "Pore-scale Modeling" in Advances in Water Resources (2000-2001)
  5. Member of various proposal review panels for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency

Honors and Awards

Certificate of Excellence in Reviewing for Advances in Water Resources, 2013

Invited talk presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media: "Pore-scale modeling of reactive transport: predicting Darcy-scale behavior." Les Diablerets, Switzerland.  June 24-29, 2012

Nomination for Best Talk Award at the 8th International  Electrokinetics Conference (ELKIN), May 18-23, 2008, Santa Fe, NM

Award for Excellence in Manuscript Review for the Vadose Zone Journal in the year 2004 by the Soil Science Society of America

Invited talk presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Flow & Transport in Permeable Media: "Dual models of porous media." The Queens College, Oxford, UK. July 11-16, 2004

German Academic Exchange Service Post-doctoral Scholarship, 1997-1998

Dr.-Ing., "Summa Cum Laude"', University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 1997

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Graduate Fellowship, 1994-1997

Prize of the Landkreis Rastatt for the best Abitur examination at the Technical Grammar School, Bühl, 1984

  • subsurface hydrology
  • pathogen transport
  • colloid transport
  • hydrocarbon contamination
  • water filtration
  • atmospheric pollution
  • multiphase flow
  • pore-network modeling
  • lattice-Boltzmann modeling
  • flow visualization

We perform research that allows for a more comprehensive exposure assessment of soil and surface water contamination by small but chronic hydrocarbon spills.

Using combined experimental and theoretical approaches, we develop models that allow for a better prediction of the movement of liquid contaminants in subsurface environments.

We develop theoretical models in order to understand better transport of nano-particles and pathogens in filter media and natural subsurface environments.

Select recent publications from five areas of research

  • Colloid / Pathogen Transport

    Johnson, W.P., and M. Hilpert (2013). Upscaling colloid transport and retention under unfavorable conditions: linking mass transfer to pore and grain topology. Water Resources Research.  doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20433.

    Liu, Y., C. Zhang, M. Hilpert, M.S. Kuhlenschmidt, T.B. Kuhlenschmidt, T.H. Nguyen (2012). Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a silicon micromodel. Environmental Science and Technology 46: 1471-1479.

    Long, W., H. Huang, J. Serlemitsos, E. Liu, A.H. Reed,and M. Hilpert (2010). A correlation for the collector efficiency of nanoparticles for clean-bed filtration in packings of nonspherical collectors. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects 358: 163-171.

    Long, W., and M. Hilpert (2009). A correlation for the collector efficiency of Brownian particles in clean-bed filtration in sphere packings by a lattice-Boltzmann method. Environmental Science and Technology 43: 4419-4424.

  • Chronic Gasoline Spills

    Hilpert, M. and P.N. Breysse (2014). Infiltration and evaporation of small hydrocarbon spills at gas stations. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.08.004

    Availbale online at:

    Hilpert, M. and A. Ben-David (2009). Infiltration of liquid droplets into porous media: effects of dynamic contact angle and contact angle hysteresis. International Journal of Multiphase Flow 35: 205-218.

  • Environmental Antibiotic Resistance

    You, Y., M. Hilpert and M. Ward (2013): Identification of Tet45, a tetracycline efflux pump, from a poultry-litter exposed soil isolate and persistence of tet(45) in the soil.  Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt127.

    You, Y., M. Hilpert and M. Ward (2012). Detection of a common and persistent tet(L)-carrying plasmid in chicken-waste-impacted farm soil. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78: 3203-3213.

  • Bacterial Chemotaxis / Bioremediation

    Yan, Z., and M. Hilpert (2014): A multiple-relaxation-time lattice-Boltzmann model for bacterial chemotaxis: Effects of initial concentration, diffusion, and hydrodynamic dispersion on traveling bacterial bands. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. Accepted.

    Yan, Z., E.J. Bouwer, and M. Hilpert (2014). Coupled effects of chemotaxis and growth on traveling bacterial waves. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 164: 138-152.

    Long, W., and M. Hilpert (2008). Lattice-Boltzmann modeling of contaminant degradation by chemotactic bacteria: exploring the formation and movement of bacterial bands. Water Resources Research 44: W09415.

    Long, W., and M. Hilpert (2007). Analytical solutions for bacterial energytaxis: traveling bacterial bands. Advances in Water Resources 30: 2262-2270.

    Hilpert, M. (2005). Lattice-Boltzmann model for bacterial chemotaxis. Journal of Mathematical Biology 51: 302-332.

  • Subsurface Flow

    Glantz, R. and M. Hilpert (2014). Phase diagrams for two-phase flow in circular capillary tubes under the influence of a dynamic contact angle. International Journal of Multiphase Flow 59: 102-105.

    Hilpert, M. and R. Glantz (2013).  Exploring the parameter space of the Green-Ampt model. Advances in Water Resources 53: 225-230.

    Hsu, S.Y., J. Katz and M. Hilpert (2012).  Theoretical and experimental study of resonance of blobs in  porous media.  Geophysics 77: 61-71.

    Pellichero, E., R. Glantz, M. Burns, D. Mallick, S.-Y. Hsu and M. Hilpert (2012). Dynamic capillary  pressure during water infiltration: experiments and Green-Ampt modeling. Water Resources Research 48. doi: 10.1029/2011WR011541.

    Hilpert, M. (2012). Velocity-dependent capillary pressure in theory for variably-saturated liquid infiltration into porous media. Geophysical Research Letters. doi:10.1029/2012GL051114.