Faculty Directory
William M. Miller


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA

S.M. Chemical Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.S. Chemical Engineering (Hons), Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Research Interests

Environmental aspects of water, energy, and sustainability with a focus on ecosystem services provided by urban nature preserves and green infrastructure (GI) including water storage, flood mitigation, urban microclimate regulation, and air pollution mitigation. Data from a network of groundwater, surface water, and soil moisture sensors provides information on water storage and transport across Gensburg Markham Prairie (GMP a high-quality remnant prairie owned by The Nature Conservancy and Northeastern Illinois University) as a function of precipitation history, season, and time for use in predicting GMP water storage and release dynamics to understand the impact for mitigating flooding in surrounding neighborhoods. Additional sensors have been deployed in nearby restored prairies that were previously subject to plowing and development to assess the impacts of prairie quality on stormwater dynamics. Microbial-fuel-cell-powered sensors are being used to assess soil moisture and water levels in natural areas and green infrastructure. Research in collaboration with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), focuses on the impacts of installing GI, such as rain gardens, in urban neighborhoods. (with Prof. Aaron Packman in Civil and Environmental Engineering). Disproportionate impacts of environmental challenges on Indigenous communities near Lake Superior.

Selected Publications

"Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America," R.I. McDonald, J. Fargione, J. Kiesecker, W.M. Miller, and J. Powell, PLoS ONE, 4: e6802 (11 pages) (2009).

"Energy, Water and Fish: Biodiversity Impacts of Energy-Sector Water Demand in the United States Depend on Efficiency and Policy Measures," R.I. McDonald, J.D. Olden, J.J. Opperman, W.M. Miller, J. Fargione, C. Revenga; J.V. Higgins, and J. Powell, PLoS ONE, 7: e50219 (17 pages) (2012).

“Characterization of soil profiles and elemental concentrations reveals deposition of heavy metals and phosphorus in a Chicago-area nature preserve, Gensburg Markham Prairie,” L.M. Hernandez Gonzalez, V.A. Rivera, C.B. Phillips, L.A. Haug, S.L. Hatch, L. Yeager, H. Chang, J. Alvarez, K.J. Gnaedinger, W.M. Miller, A.I. Packman, J. Soils and Sediments, 19:3817-3831 (2019).

“A systematic review of the human health and social well‐being outcomes of green infrastructure for stormwater and flood management,” V. Venkataramanan, A.I. Packman, D.R. Peters, D. Lopez, D.J. McCuskey, R.I. McDonald, W.M. Miller, S.L. Young, J. Environmental Management, 246:868-880 (2019).

“Soil hydrology drives ecological niche differentiation in a native prairie microbiome,” J.S. Griffin, L.A. Haug, V.A. Rivera, L.M. Hernandez Gonzalez, J.J. Kelly, W.M. Miller, G.F. Wells, A.I. Packman, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 96, Issue 1, January 2020, fiz163, https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiz163 (2020) (Editor’s Choice article).

“Knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and behavior related to green infrastructure for flood management: A systematic literature review,” V. Venkataramanan, D. Lopez, D.J. McCuskey, D. Kiefus, R.I. McDonald, W.M. Miller, A.I. Packman, S.L. Young, Science of the Total Environment 720:137606 (2020).

“Green roof vegetation management alters potential for water quality and temperature mitigation,” V. Ouellet*, K. Khamis*, D. Croghan, L.M. Hernandez Gonzalez, V.A. Rivera, C.B. Phillips, A.I. Packman, W.M. Miller, R.G. Hawke, D.M. Hannah, S. Krause, Ecohydrology, 14(6):2321, DOI: 10.1002/eco.2321 (2021).