William Anderson

Professor, P. Eng
William Anderson

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Biography summary

William A. Anderson is a Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department and the former Director of Admissions for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

With his expertise in photochemical (UV) and biological air and water pollution control and biochemical engineering of fermentation and pharmaceutical processes, Professor Anderson maintains industry research collaborations in the areas of hospital air emissions control, clinical water testing, residential air UV disinfection and agricultural resource recovery.

His recent projects include automated UV disinfection in hospitals, rapid detection of microbial contamination of water, removal of ammonia from water, and antimicrobial materials for use in engineered infection control.

A major emphasis of Professor Anderson’s work in pollution control technology for air treatment is reactor engineering for photocatalysis and photolysis, using an ultraviolet light irradiated catalyst to degrade organic contaminants at ambient temperatures. He is frequently consulted by industry and others on the use of UV germicidal devices for disinfection of air, surfaces, and water.

In addition to his research work, Professor Anderson has written over 105 journal articles, in addition to conference proceedings and technical reports. During his time as Director of Admissions, Professor Anderson started a blog about engineering undergraduate admissions which has been widely read by current and prospective Waterloo Engineering undergraduate students.

William Anderson is a member of the Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research, the Water Institute, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, and the Tsinghua-Waterloo Joint Research Centre for Micro/Nano Energy and Environmental Technology

Research interests

  • Photocatalysis
  • Photoreaction engineering
  • Antimicrobial materials
  • Disinfection
  • Air pollution control
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Green Reaction Engineering
  • Nanoparticle synthesis
  • Advanced Oxidation Processes for Wastewater and Air Treatment
  • Photochemical Reactor Engineering
  • Biofiltration
  • Water
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Infection and Pathogen Control
  • Devices


  • 1991, Doctorate, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 1986, Master's, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 1981, Bachelor's, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo


  • CHE 480 - Process Analysis and Design
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • CHE 572 - Air Pollution Control
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • CHE 672 - Air Pollution Control
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/recent publications

  • Saha, DC and Boegel, SJ and Tanvir, S and Nogueira, CL and Aucoin, MG and Anderson, WA and Jahed, H, Antiviral and Antibacterial Cold Spray Coating Application on Rubber Substrate, Disruption in Disease Transmission Chain, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 2023, 1 - 13
  • Javid, Faisal and Xin, Xing and Anderson, William A and Derraik, José GB and Anderson, Yvonne C and Baroutian, Saeid, Deconstruction of Waste Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) using Subcritical Wet Air Oxidation, The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 2023
  • Javid, Faisal and Xin, Xing and Anderson, William A and Derraik, José GB and Anderson, Yvonne C and Baroutian, Saeid, Deconstruction and valorisation of a mixture of personal protective equipment using hydrothermal processing, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 115, 2022, 583 - 593
  • Javid, Faisal and Xin, Xing and Derraik, José GB and Anderson, William A and Anderson, Yvonne and Baroutian, Saeid, Hydrothermal deconstruction of single-use personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Waste Management, 153, 2022, 178 - 187
  • Harfoot, Rhodri and Yung, Deborah BY and Anderson, William A and Wild, Cervantée EK and Coetzee, Nicolene and Hernández, Leonor C and Lawley, Blair and Pletzer, Daniel and Derraik, José GB and Anderson, Yvonne C and others, Ultraviolet-C irradiation, heat, and storage as potential methods of inactivating SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial pathogens on filtering facepiece respirators, Pathogens, 11(1), 2022
  • Cholewinski, Aleksander and Dadzie, Eugenia and Sherlock, Cassandra and Anderson, William A and Charles, Trevor C and Habib, Komal and Young, Steven B and Zhao, Boxin, A critical review of microplastic degradation and material flow analysis towards a circular, ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, 315, 2022
  • Liu, Minghui and Bauman, Lukas and Nogueira, Christiane Lourenco and Aucoin, Marc G and Anderson, William A and Zhao, Boxin, Antimicrobial polymeric composites for high-touch surfaces in healthcare applications, Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 2022
  • Xin, Xing and Javid, Faisal and Anderson, William A and Derraik, José GB and Sullivan, Trudy and Anderson, Yvonne C and Baroutian, Saeid, Hydrothermal deconstruction of single-use personal protective equipment: process design and economic performance, Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 166, 2022, 565 - 573
  • Sanjay Krishna Muralidharan, Lukas Bauman, William A. Anderson, Boxin Zhao, Recyclable antimicrobial sulphonated poly(ether ether ketone) - copper films: Flat vs micro-pillared surfaces, Materials Today Communications, 24, 2020
  • J.G.B. Derraik, W.A. Anderson, L. Connelly, Y.C. Anderson, Rapid review of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viability, susceptibility to treatment, and the disinfection and reuse of PPE, particularly filtering facepiece respirators, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  • Y. Bai, M. Moo-Young, W.A. Anderson, Characterization of power input and its impact on mass transfer in a rocking bioreactor, Chemical Engineering Science, 2019
  • L. Zhang, C. Moralejo, W.A. Anderson, A review of the influence of humidity on photocatalytic decomposition of gaseous pollutants, Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 2019
  • Y. Bai, M. Moo-Young, W.A. Anderson, A mechanistic model for gas-liquid mass transfer prediction in a rocking disposable bioreactor, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 116, 2019, 1986 - 1998
  • E. Choi, Z. Tan, W.A. Anderson, Formation of secondary organic aerosols by germicidal ultraviolet light, Environments, 6, 2019
  • Ragothaman, A and Anderson, WA, Air Quality Impacts of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Industries, Environments, 4(3), 2017
  • Zhou, Qiong and Wen, John Z and Zhao, Pei and Anderson, William A, Synthesis of Vertically-Aligned Zinc Oxide Nanowires and Their Application as a Photocatalyst, Nanomaterials, 7(1), 2017
  • F Tanvir, A Yaqub, S Tanvir, WA Anderson, Poly-L-arginine coated silver nanoprisms and their anti-bacterial properties, Nanomaterials, 7(10), 2017
  • Tanvir, Fouzia and Yaqub, Atif and Tanvir, Shazia and Anderson, William A, Colorimetric enumeration of bacterial contamination in water based on β-galactosidase gold nanoshell activity, Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 99, 2017, 49 - 56
  • Bustami, Y and Moo-Young, M and Anderson, WA, Analysis of the heterogeneous structure of iron oxide/gold nanoparticles and their application in a nanosensor, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 245, 2017, 753 - 764
  • Schmidt, Thomas and Anderson, William A, Biotrickling Filtration of Air Contaminated with 1-Butanol, Environments, 4(3), 2017
  • W.A. Anderson, M. Mehrata, C. Moralejo, Halogenated Gas Control, A&WMA Ontario Managing Emissions - Reduction Strategies and Control, 11 2018, Guelph. (Accepted in 2018)

In the news

Graduate studies

  • Not currently accepting applications for graduate students