Faculty Directory
William M. Miller

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Director, Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E248
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-4828Email William Miller


Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience


Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE)

The Center for Water Research


Chemical and Biological Engineering

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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.


Environmental aspects of water, energy, and sustainability with a focus on nature-based solutions and 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. Microbial-fuel-cell-powered sensors to assess soil moisture and water levels in natural areas and green infrastructure. Research in collaboration with the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chatham, the Chicago neighborhood with the most flood insurance claims in 2007-2011, focuses on the impacts of installing GI, such as rain gardens, in urban neighborhoods. (with Prof. Aaron Packman in Civil and Environmental Engineering). Community-based research to address disproportionate impacts of environmental challenges on Indigenous communities.

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).