John O'Connell, PhD

Professor Emeritus,
University of Virginia

John O'Connell


United States


  • Academia

Job Function

  • Retired


John P. O'Connell is Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at the University of Virginia and Research  scholar in Residence at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has a BA from Pomona College, BS and MS from MIT, and Ph.D. from U. Calif. (Berkeley). He was on the faculty at the University of Florida from 1966 - 1988 including Department Chair from 1981-1985. He was at Virginia from 1988 - 2013 including Department Chair from 1988-1993 and 2001-2002. Professor O'Connell also has been Visiting Scholar or Faculty in Denmark, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Portugal. He has published more than 150 journal articles and coauthored 6 books including "Properties of Gases and Liquids, 5th Ed." and "Thermodynamics: Fundamentals for Applications". He has presented over 200 invited academic and government seminars and workshops in 19 countries, as well as 35 lectures and workshops to industries in 9 countries. His interests have covered molecular thermodynamic modeling for phase equilibrium and physical properties, especially for process design; molecular simulation of micellar structure and of fluid properties; adsorption and surface diffusion; chemical engineering education; and most recently, properties modeling for hydrophobic chromatography bioprocessing, thermochemical decomposition of water to manufacture hydrogen, chemical absorption of CO2, and thermodynamic analysis of chemical processes.

Professor O'Connell has twice shared the Corcoran Award for Best Paper in Chemical Engineering Education, was part of the team to win the International Fluid Properties Simulation Challenge in 2006, was the ConocoPhillips CHE Education Lecturer at Oklahoma State U. in 2007, and named National Outstanding AIChE Student Chapter Advisor in 1981 and 2013, with his Chapters selected for National Excellence 14 times. He is a Fellow of AAAS and AIChE. He was an Editor of the journal Fluid Phase Equilibria from 2004-2016. Among his professional service contributions, he was Chair of the AIChE Fellows from 2004 to 2013 and continues as the Secretary of the Fellows Council, was MPC of the San Francisco AIChE Annual Meeting in 1989, has been on the International Organizing Committees of the Triennial Conferences on Properties and Phase Equilibria for Product and Process Design for 42 years. John chaired the Publications Board for Chemical Engineering Education from 2005 - 2011 and has been an AIChE Future Faculty Mentor since the program's inception. He was a member of several chemical sciences and engineering research and fellowship panels for NSF, NIST, and ASEE.


University of California-Berkeley
Chemical Engineering
To 1967

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Chemical Engineering
To 1962

Pomona College
Claremont, California, United States
Chemical Engineering
To 1961

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Chemical Engineering
To 1961


  • AIChE Fellow
  • Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum
  • Education Division
  • Institute for Sustainability
  • Southern California Local Section
  • Sustainability Engineering Forum
  • Virtual Local Section


  • Education Division (Director) ((2011-2014))
  • Fellows Council (Secretary) (Board of Directors Liaison)

Online contributions