Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Prof. William J. Cooper

Contact Information

University of California, Irvine
ET 305
Irvine, CA 92697-2175
zotcode: 2175

(949) 824-5620

Beginning in September 2013, will serve two years as Program Director for Environmental Engineering at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C. before returning full time to UCI.

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineeringat UC Irvine and Director of the Urban Water Research Center.

Ph. D. in Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Univeristy of Miami, Florida. 

Professor Cooper uses techniques of radiation chemistry and environmental analytical chemistry to study the free radical chemistry of pollutants in the aqueous phase.  His two major areas of research interest are sunlight mediated photochemical reactions in natural waters and free radical chemistry of aqueous solutions. One area where these two areas intersect is in the study of the fate and transport of natural dissolved organic matter in surface waters and atmospheric waters (rain and gas phase). He has a number of collaborators here at UCI and throughout the world examining different aspects of this chemistry as it applies to environmental chemistry.

One of the physical chemical tools not available at UCI which his group uses is pulsed radiolysis with transient absorption spectroscopy. For those studies he goes to the US DOE Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory. He (and his collaborator, Weihua Song) is a certified operator of the pulsed linac (linear accelerator) and the 60Co gamma-source. The pulsed linac is used to evaluate the absolute bimolecular reaction rate constants of organic compounds with the hydroxyl radical, the solvated electron and hydrogen atom. The gamma-source is used to elucidate destruction mechanisms of the various compounds of interest. The School of Physical Sciences Mass Spec lab is used extensively in by-product identification for these mechanistic studies.

In studies regarding dissolved organic matter in natural waters, he has recently initiated studies comparing photochemically mediated reactions to those resulting from the ‘in situ’ generated free radicals and reactive oxygen species. For studies in the molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter, he and Michael Gonsior are collaborating with the Florida State University National High Magnetic Field Center, (William T. Cooper) using the 9.4 Tesla, ultra high resolution, FT- ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer.  They are also collaborating with Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin and Norbert Hertkorn characterizing dissolved organic matter in natural waters.

Research Interests: 
  • Analytical chemistry of chlorine residuals
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Trace organics analysis
  • Carbon cycling in coastal oceans
  • Application of free radical chemistry in advanced oxidation processes (AOPs)
  • Application of ozonation for ballast water treatment at full-scale on oil tankers
  • Reaction rates and destruction mechanisms
  • Kinetic models for optimizing AOPs