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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 Research Projects

  • Practices to Enhance Internal Fermentation of Side-Stream Secondary Sludge and Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids for Biological Phosphorus Removal
    • – Co-Principal Investigator, Water Research Foundation

Selected Publications

  • M. Laboy, A. Onnis-Hayden, Bridging the Gap between Architecture and Engineering: a Transdisciplinary Model for a Resilient Built Environment, Building Technology Educator’s Society, 1, 2019, 38
  • A. Onnis‐Hayden, N. Majed, Y. Li, S.M. Rahman, D. Drury, L. Risso, A.Z. Gu, Impact of Solid Residence Time (SRT) on Functionally Relevant Microbial Populations and Performance in Full‐Scale Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) Systems, Water Environment Research, 2019
  • S.M. Rahman, M.J. Eckelman, A. Onnis-Hayden, A.Z. Gu, Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Advanced Wastewater Treatment Processes for Removal of Chemicals of Emerging Concern, Environmental Science and Technology, 52(19), 2018, 11346-11358
  • Y. Zhao, Z. Zhang, G. Wang, X. Li, J. Ma, S. Chen, H. Deng, A. Onnis-Hayden, High Sulfide Production Induced by Algae Decomposition and its Potential Stimulation to Phosphorus Mobility in Sediment, Science of the Total Environment, 650, 2018, 163-172
  • A. Onnis-Hayden, C. Venegas-Martinez, L. Carver, M. Dreyer, Integrating Engineering, Innovation, and Research at All Levels: An Educational Model for Water Reuse Design, Proceeding of the 2017 ASEE Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio


Aug 25, 2020

CEE Capstone Students Named 2020 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Finalists

Five students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Class of 2020 won a finalist spot in the 2020 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge.


Apr 03, 2020

Madeline DuBois Awarded 2020 Fulbright Scholarship

Madeline DuBois, BS Environmental Engineering, was awarded a 2020 Fulbright scholarship at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark to study agriculture with a specialization in production and the environment.

students pose with award

Student Groups

Nov 22, 2019

EWB Wins 2019 Premier Chapter Award

Northeastern’s Engineers without Borders chapter was selected for the 2019 Premier Chapter Award from EWB-USA.


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.

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