BAE Sung Woo

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering,
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576

Tel: (65) 651 62884
Office: E2-04-07


Dr. Bae graduated from Korea University with B. Eng. and M. Eng. in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He received his Ph.D. (Major: Environmental Engineering, Minor: Microbiology) from the University of California, Davis in 2010. Prior to joining NUS, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Bae comes to NUS with a wide range of research experience in microbial engineering system. Dr Bae’s research has primary focused on molecular biology in environmental engineering. During his graduate studies, his work focused on microbial source tracking for identifying sources of fecal contamination in water. During his postdoctoral research, the focus of his research was to understand biological mechanisms and functions using new molecular techniques in natural and engineered systems.

The overall goal of his research is to interrogate biological process in natural and engineered systems. The constituent research themes are:

  1. to design novel engineering platforms that will allow real-world solutions based upon microbial processes (Environmental Engineering)
  2. to decipher microbial interactions and characterize a microbial community in natural and engineered systems (Microbial Ecology)
  3. to develop novel environmental biotechnologies by harnessing biological processes to improve environmental quality in complex systems (Biotechnology)


  • Ph.D., The University of California, Davis, 2010
  • M. Eng., Korea University, 2002
  • B. Eng., Korea University, 2000

Honours & Awards

  • 2007 Bodega Marine Laboratory Inter campus Research and Travel Grant The University of California, Davis, USA
  • 2002 Graduate Student Fellowship, National Research Foundation of Korea
  • 2001 Graduate Student Fellowship, Brain Korea 21, Ministry of Education, South Korea

Professional Activities

  • 2006-present, International Water Association (IWA)
  • 2007-present, American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
  • 2008-present, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • 2007-present, Reviewer: Water Research, Biodegradation, and Journal of Hazardous Material

Teaching Areas

  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Biofilms / Environmental Biotechnology
  • Microbial Water quality
  • Molecular Microbiology for Environmental Engineering applications

Research Interests

  • Environmental Microbiology in Natural and Engineered Water Systems
    • Metagenomics and transcriptomics in natural and engineering water system
    • Water Microbiome
    • Nitrification in drinking water distribution system
    • New molecular techniques for characterization and in situ monitoring of microbial diversity and activity
  • Environmental Biotechnology
    • Optimizing biological treatment using molecular techniques
    • Engineered nanoparticles in water
    • Biological filtration and biofilm systems for drinking water treatment
  • Water and Public Health
    • Microbial source tracking
    • Detection and mitigation of viruses, bacteria, fungi and antimicrobial resistance genes in water and air

Selected Publications

  1. Bae, S. and Wuertz S. (2009) Discrimination of Viable and Dead Fecal Bacteroidales with PMA-qPCR, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 75 (9), 2940-2949
  2. Bae, S. and Wuertz, S. (2009) Persistence of Survival of Host-Specific Bacteroidales DNA and their Cells in Seawater, Water Research. 43(19), 4850-4859
  3. Bae, S. and Wuertz, S. (2012) Survival of Host-Assocated Bacteroidales Cells and their Relationships with Enterococcus spp., Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enterica Serova Typhimurium and Adenovirus in Freshwater Microcosms as Measured by Propidium Monoazide- Quantitative PCR , Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(12), 922-932.
  4. De Long, S., Li, X., Bae, S., Brown, J., Raskin, L., Kinney, K., and Kirisits, MJ. (2012) Quantification of Genes and Gene Transcripts for Microbial Perchlorate Reduction in Fixed Bioreactors. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 112 (3), 579-592
  5. Chambers, B., Afrooz, A.R.M., Bae, S., Aich, N., Katz, L., Saleh, N., and Kirisits, MJ. (2014), Effects of Chloride and Ionic Strength on Physical Morphology, Dissolution, and Bacterial Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticles, Environmental Science & Technology, 48(1), 761-769
  6. Bae, S. and Wuertz, S. (2015) Decay of Host-Associated Bacteroidales cells and DNA in Continuous-Flow Freshwater and Seawater Microcosms of Identical Experimental Design and Temperature as Measured by PMA-qPCR and qPCR Water Research. 70 (1) 205-213
  7. Barasan, Z., Bae, S., Ferron, R., and Kirisits, M.J (2017). Biomineralization in cement-based materials: metabolic state and morphology of Sporosarcina pasteurii, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering

Last Updated on 23 March, 2018 by Department of Civil and Environmental Enginering