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Annalisa Onnis-Hayden

Teaching Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering


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  • 431 Snell Engineering Center
  • 617.373.2005

Research Focus

Biological treatment processes; ecotoxicology and toxicity assessment; microbial population dynamics and ecology in engineered biological systems


  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Cagliari, Italy, 2004
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, 2007
  • B.S. and MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Cagliari, Italy, 2000


  • Professional Engineer: Italy

Honors & Awards

  • 2014 Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.
  • 2011 Visiting Professor Appointment, University of Cagliari for the year 2011/2012
  • 2010 Certificate of Merit for Presentation at ACS 240th National Meeting-ENVR
  • 2005 Sardinian Minister of Education Fellow
  • 1999 Erasmus Exchange Program Fellow
  • 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 excellence in study fellow from the Italian Commission for the Rights to University Studies (E.R.S.U).

Professional Affiliations

  • New England Water Environment Association
  • Water Environment Federation

Research Overview

Biological treatment processes; ecotoxicology and toxicity assessment; microbial population dynamics and ecology in engineered biological systems

Selected Publications

  • Y. Men, P. Han, D.E. Helbling, N. Jehmlich, C. Herbold, R. Gulde, A. Onnis-Hayden, A.Z. Gu, D.R. Johnson, M. Wagner, K. Fenner, Biotransformation of two Pharmaceuticals by the Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaeon Nitrososphaera Gargensis, Environmental Science and Technology, 2016, 50(9), 4682-4692
  • S.M. Rahman, M.J. Eckelman, A. Onnis-Hayden, A. Gu, Life Cycle Assessment of Advanced Nutrient Removal Technologies for Wastewater Treatment, Environmental Science and Technology, 2016, 50, 3020-3030
  • A.E. Schellenger, A. Onnis-Hayden, D.P. Jaisi, P. Larese-Casanova, Oxygen Kinetic Isotope Effects in Selenate During Microbial Reduction, Applied Geochemistry, 63, 2015, 261-271
  • Y. Li, X. Wang, A. Onnis-Hayden, K.T. Wan, A.Z. Gu, Universal Quantifier Derived from AFM Analysis Links Cellular Mechanical Properties and Cell-Surface Integration Forces with Microbial Deposition and Transport Behavior, Environmental Science and Technology, 48(3), 2014, 1769-1778
  • A. Onnis-Hayden, N. Majed, A.Z. Gu, Decoupling the Microbial Populations for Phosphorus and Nitrogen Removal in Integrated Fixed-Film Activated Sludge Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (IFAS-EBPR) System, Water Research, 45, 2011, 3845-3854
  • A. Onnis-Hayden, H. Weng, M. He, S. Hansen, V. Ilyin, et al., Prokaryotic Real-Time Gene Expression Profiling for Toxicity Assessment, Environmental Science and Technology, 43(12), 2009, 4574-4581


Apr 17, 2019

James Sinoimeri Wins Best Poster Award at ISPE New England Conference

ChE student James Sinoimeri, E’21, was awarded the Best Poster Award at the 2019 ISPE New England Chapter Spring Conference for his project “Developing Hypoxia Inducing Cryogels for Pre-Clinical Anti-Cancer Drug Screening.”


Apr 05, 2019

Congratulations RISE:2019 Winners

Congratulations to our engineering students who won awards at the RISE:2019 Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo!


Oct 10, 2018

Civil and Environmental Engineering students place 3rd at Environmental Design Competition

A team of Civil and Environmental students from Northeastern University placed third in the WEF Environmental Design Competition, which saw the participation of 22 teams from across the 3 countries.


Apr 05, 2018

CEE Students win MIT Water Night Poster Competition

CEE undergraduate students Kestral Johnson and Madeline DuBois are among this year’s MIT Water Night poster winners for their research on water systems led by Professor Annalisa Onnis-Hayden. The event provides both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to present their pursued topics of research at MIT and beyond.  Congratulations to Kestral and Madeline!


Jan 31, 2018

Madeline DuBois, E’20, Combines Engineering with Her Passion for the Environment

Madeline DuBois, E’20, is using her environmental engineering degree to work with Engineers Without Borders to bring water distribution systems to developing countries as well as work in the lab with CEE Associate Teaching Professor Annalisa Onnis-Hayden on creating a tidal wetland wastewater treatment system.


Jan 16, 2018

Flood of Complaints in Lynn

CEE Associate Teaching Professor Annalisa Onnis-Hayden was quoted in NECN’s article “Flood of Complaints in Lynn” about the need to separate sewage and storm drain systems to help prevent the damage caused by flooding.


Nov 21, 2017

Onnis-Hayden Wins NEWEA Clair N. Sawyer Award

CEE Associate Professor Annalisa Onnis-Hayden has won the 2017 Clair N. Sawyer Award from the New England Water Environmental Association.


Oct 16, 2017

CEE Alums Place 3rd in WEF Student Design Competition

Recent CEE alums Catherine Moskos, Erika Towne and Lindsey Carver competed at the National Water Environment Federation student design competition in Chicago this past October during the the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference, which is the largest annual water quality event in the world.


May 15, 2017

CEE Capstone team wins Regional Student Design Competition

A group of students in the CEE department working on their Environmental capstone, Catherine Moskos, Erika Towne and Lindsey Carver, won the NEWEA Student Design Competition (SDC) with their project “Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment plant: Design and Modeling”.

May 10, 2016

2016 CEE Faculty Awards

Congratulations to Annalisa Onnis-Hayden, Dan Saulnier, and Steve Cranford on awards they received at this year’s COE faculty and staff ceremony and the CEE brick ceremony: Martin W. Essigman Outstanding Teaching Award Annalisa Onnis-Hayden This award celebrates a faculty member who has demonstrated success as a teacher by combining competence in subject matter with an […]

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