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Ben O'Connor

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. 2006, Civil Engineering,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

M.S. 2002, Civil Engineering,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

B.C.E. 1997, Civil Engineering,
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Contact Information

Office: 2069 Engineering Research Facility
Phone: 312-355-4722

Courses Offered

Research Interests

My research incorporates study of hydrology and hydraulics in natural and engineered systems with respect to how they affect aquatic ecosystems. Specific interests include the effects of fluid motion on metabolism and nutrient cycling in rivers, surface water-groundwater interactions, environmental flow considerations on regulated rivers, stream restoration, and urban hydrology.


2014 – present
Assistant Professor,
Department of Civil and Materials Engineering University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL USA

2012 - 2013
Ecological and Hydrologic Modeling Team Lead,
Environmental Science Division Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL USA

2009 - 2012
Assistant Hydrologist,
Environmental Science Division Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL USA

2006 - 2009
National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA USA

Courses Offered

CME 211 Fluid Mechanics

CME 311 Water Resources Engineering


O’Connor, B. L., Y. Hamada, E. E. Bowen, M. A. Grippo, T. L. Patton, R. A. Van Lonkhuyzen, A. E. Carr (2014) “Quantifying the sensitivity of ephemeral streams to land disturbance activities in desert ecosystems at the watershed scale” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, doi:10.1007/s10661-014-3912-5.

Bevelhimer, M., R. McManamay, B. L. O’Connor (2014) “Characterizing sub-daily flow regimes: Implications of hydrologic resolution on ecohydrology studies” River Research and Applications, doi: 10.1002/rra.2781.

Haas, N. A., B. L. O'Connor, J. W. Hayse M. S. Bevelhimer, T. A. Endreny (2014), “Analysis of daily peaking and run-of-river dam operation on flow variability metrics considering subdaily to seasonal timescales” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, doi:10.1111/jawr.12228.

Bowen, E. E., Y. Hamada, B. L. O’Connor (2014) “Mapping mountain front recharge areas in arid watersheds based on a digital elevation model and land cover types” Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 756-771, doi:10.4236/jwarp.2014.68072.

Jackson, T. R., R. Haggerty, S. V. Apte, B. L. O’Connor (2013), “A mean residence time relationship for lateral cavities in gravel-bed rivers and streams: Incorporating streambed roughness and cavity shape” Water Resources Research, 49, 3642-3650, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20272.

O'Connor, B. L., J. W. Harvey, L. E. McPhillips (2012), "Thresholds of flow-induced bed disturbances and their effects on stream metabolism in an agricultural river" Water Resources Research, 48, W08504, doi:10.1029/2011WR011488.

O'Connor, B. L., M. Hondzo, J. W. Harvey (2010), "Predictive modeling of transient storage and nutrient uptake: Implications for stream restoration" Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 136, 1018-1032, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000180.

O'Connor, B. L., M. Hondzo, J. W. Harvey (2009), "Incorporating physical and kinetic limitations in quantifying dissolved oxygen flux to aquatic sediments" Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135, 1304-1314, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000093.

Harvey, J. W., R. W. Schaffranek, G. B. Noe, L. G. Larsen, D. J. Nowacki, B. L. O'Connor (2009), "Hydro-ecological factors governing surface-water flow on a low-gradient floodplain" Water Resources Research, 45, W03421, doi:10.1029/2008WR007129.

O'Connor, B. L., J. W. Harvey (2008), "Scaling hyporheic exchange and its influence on biogeochemical reactions in aquatic ecosystems" Water Resources Research, 44, W12423, doi:10.1029/2008WR007160.

O'Connor, B. L., M. Hondzo (2008), "Dissolved oxygen transfer to sediments from sweep and eject motions in aquatic environments" Limnology and Oceanography, 53, 566-578.

O'Connor, B. L., M. Hondzo (2008), "Enhancement and inhibition of denitrification by fluid-flow and dissolved oxygen flux to sediments" Environmental Science & Technology, 42, 119-125, doi:10.1021/es071173s.

Higashino, M., B. L. O'Connor, M. Hondzo, H. G. Stefan (2008), "Oxygen transfer from flowing water to microbes in an organic sediment bed" Hydrobiologia, 614, 219-231, doi:10.1007/s10750-008-9508-8.

O'Connor, B. L., M. Hondzo, D. Dobraca, T. M. LaPara, J. C. Finlay, P. L. Brezonik (2006), "Quantity-activity relationship of denitrifying bacteria and environmental scaling in streams of a forested watershed" Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, G04014, doi:10.1029/2006JG000254.

Hondzo, M., T. Feyaerts, R. Donovan, B. L. O'Connor (2005), "Universal scaling of dissolved oxygen distribution at the sediment-water interface: A power law" Limnology and Oceanography, 50, 1667-1676.

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