Liza Wilson Durant

Titles and Organizations

Professor, Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives & Community Engagement, College of Engineering and Computing

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-1687
Campus: Fairfax
Building: Nguyen Engineering Building
Room 5112
Mail Stop: 6C1


Building meaningful partnerships across the university with external corporate, government, academic, non-profit, and global entities to support the mission of the College of Engineering and Computing and the strategic objectives of George Mason University.

Liza Wilson Durant serves as the associate provost for strategic initiatives and community engagement and also a professor and associate dean in the College of Engineering and Computing. She is currently serving as the director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative’s (CCI) Northern Virginia Node. The CCI is a $25 million initiative to ensure Virginia is recognized as a global leader in secure cyber-physical systems and in the digital economy
 more broadly for decades to come by supporting world-class research at the intersection of data, autonomy, and security; promoting technology, commercialization, and entrepreneurship; and preparing future generations of innovators and research leaders.

Prior to her appointment as associate dean, she served as chair of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering. Durant conducts classes in environmental engineering, hydrologic engineering, environmental microbiology and information technology for engineers She received her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where her research focused on bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons in aquifer materials under mixed electron acceptor conditions.

Durant’s research currently focuses on the use of microorganisms and biological processes to control the fate and transport of hazardous waste and to diminish contamination in the subsurface environment. She has extensive consulting experience on projects related to the feasibility and economics of hazardous waste management and remediation, contaminant fate and transport in the environment and risk assessment and reduction, and environmental dispute resolution. She was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Environmental Science and Engineering Fellowship twice. During her tenure as an AAAS fellow, she served as a science advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the National Center for Environmental Assessment and in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and Development.


Research Interests

Environmental Engineering, Bioremediation


  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Environmental Engineering
  • MS, Stanford University, Environmental Engineering
  • BS, Cornell University, Agricultural Engineering