Professor William “Bill” Cooper Elected AAAS Fellow

CEE professor honored for interdisciplinary contributions

Professor William “Bill” J. Cooper, Ph.D., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, has been elected a 2011 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The world’s largest general scientific society, AAAS is dedicated to advancing science around the world through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. The prestigious honor is awarded yearly to members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.”  New Fellows are chosen by their association peers.

Cooper, director of UC Irvine’s Urban Water Research Center, was honored for distinguished interdisciplinary contributions in environmental photochemistry and free radical chemistry in nature systems and in water treatment.


His major research interests are sunlight-mediated photochemical reactions in natural waters and free radical chemistry of aqueous solutions. Most recently, he has been involved in the application of ozonation for ballast water treatment at full-scale on oil tankers.

As a civilian, he ran the water reuse program for the U.S. Army at Ft. Detrick and also helped pioneer the first annual Water Reuse Symposium in 1979.  Additionally, he served as director of the Drinking Water Research Center at Florida International University and as a consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency and several international cooperative research projects.

Cooper, who received his doctorate in marine and atmospheric chemistry from the University of Miami in 1987, says this award has special significance for him. AAAS publishes the journal Science, in which Cooper published his first paper in 1967 as an undergraduate at Allegheny College.


“My first paper for my Ph. D. at Miami was published in Science in 1983,” he said. “Being elected a Fellow in AAAS is a tremendous honor for me.”

Cooper officially will be welcomed into the select group on February 18, 2012, in Vancouver, B.C., at the AAAS annual meeting.