J. Hugh Ellis


Research Interests

environmental systems

An expert in environmental systems analysis, Hugh Ellis’s innovative models and analysis are integral to critical, policy-shaping research studies ranging from climate issues to public health. Ellis is a professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering and the former chair of the Department of Civil Engineering.


Currently, Ellis is on the research team for the Environmental Protection Agency’s multi-institution research team for the Solutions to Energy, AiR, Climate, and Health (SEARCH) program. SEARCH is investigating emerging U.S. energy transitions and resulting air pollution and health outcomes through novel modeling and measurements to characterize factors contributing to emissions, air quality and health. Ellis’ research is helping to provide key scientific insight on how energy choices, climate policy, and other considerations can impact air pollution and health.


Specifically, Ellis works on a new modeling approach to emissions downscaling with a goal of providing a deeper, multidisciplinary understanding of the regional effects of air, energy, and climate policies as they interact with future energy transitions.


Ellis, a Hopkins faculty member since 1984, served for six years as chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (now the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering) and as chair of the Department of Civil Engineering for five years.


He is the recipient of a Whiting School of Engineering W.H. Huggins Excellence in Teaching Award and a Student Council Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.


Ellis has an impressive depth of leadership on key, national committees for air and water quality. In 2016, he chaired the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee for a review of the Generalized Additive Model (GAM) approach for Water Quality Trends in Tidal Waters. He was a member of the National Research Council for the Committee on State Practices in Setting Mobile Source Emissions Standards; the National Research Council, Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, Committee for Measuring and Improving Infrastructure Performance ; and the National Research Council Committee on Vehicle Emission Inspection and Maintenance Programs. For six years, he chaired the Air Quality Control Advisory Council of the Maryland Department of the Environment. He has been associate editor of Water Resources Research and Operations Research – Natural Resources, Energy and Environment.


He received his BASc. (1979), MASc. (1981), and PhD.(1984) in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


  • Master of Science 1981, University Of Waterloo
  • Bachelor of Science 1979, University Of Waterloo
  • 2007 - Present:  Lecturer, WSE Engineering for Professionals (EP)
  • 2004 - 2009:  Chairman, Department of Civil Engineering
  • 2004 - 2004:  Advisor, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • 1994 - 2004:  Chairman, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • 1998:  Student Council Excellence in teaching Award
  • 1996:  William H. Huggins Excellence in Teaching Award - May
  • 1982:  Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Fellowship
  • 1981:  Faculty of Engineering Fellowship - University of Waterloo
Journal Articles
  • Rasmussen S, Koehler K, J. Hugh Ellis , Bandeen-Roche K, Platt R, Schwartz BS, Manthos D (2017).  Exposure assessment using secondary data sources in unconventional natural gas development and health studies.  Environmental Science and Technology - submitted.
  • Ellis J, Hobbs B, Ellis J, Crowley C, Joutz F (2015).  Impacts of climate change on power sector NOx emissions: A long-run analysis of the US mid-atlantic region.  Energy Policy.  84.  11-21.
  • Nau C, Ellis H, Huang H, Schwartz BS, Hirsch A, Ellis J, Kress AM, Pollak J, Glass TA (2015).  Exploring the forest instead of the trees: An innovative method for defining obesogenic and obesoprotective environments.  Health Place.  35.  136-46.
  • Crisostomo A, Ellis J, Rendon C (2014).  Will this rain barrel fix my flooding: Designing effective programs to incentivize private property stormwater interventions.  87th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference, WEFTEC 2014.  2.  1593-1622.
  • Hobbs BF, Hu MC, Chen Y, Ellis JH, Paul A, Burtraw D, Palmer KL (2010).  From regions to stacks: Spatial and temporal downscaling of power pollution scenarios.  IEEE Transactions on Power Systems.  25(2).  1179-1189.
  • Grais RF, Ellis JH, Kress A, Glass GE (2004).  Modeling the spread of annual influenza epidemics in the U.S.: The potential role of air travel.  Health Care Management Science.  7(2).  127-134.
  • Grais RF, Ellis JH, Glass GE (2003).  Assessing the impact of airline travel on the geographic spread of pandemic influenza.  European Journal of Epidemiology.  18(11).  1065-1072.
  • Grais RF, Ellis JH, Glass GE (2003).  Forecasting the geographical spread of smallpox cases by air travel.  Epidemiology and Infection.  131(2).  849-857.
  • Liebrand M, Ellis H, Phillips C, Demurjian S, Ting TC, Ellis J (2003).  Role delegation for a resourcebased security model.  IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology.  128.  37-48.
  • Shi T, Jones NP, Ellis JH (2000).  Simultaneous estimation of system and input parameters from output measurements.  Journal of Engineering Mechanics.  126(7).  746-753.
  • McCann DM, Jones NP, Ellis JH (2000).  Evaluating the utility of global damage detection for highway bridges.  Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.  3995.  28-36.
  • Jones NP, Ellis JH, Pan K (1997).  Discussion of “identification of stiffness reductions using natural frequencies”.  Journal of Engineering Mechanics.  123(6).  647-648.
  • Lee YM, Ellis JH (1997).  On the equivalence of kriging and maximum entropy estimators.  Mathematical Geology.  29(1).  131-152.
  • Holmes KJ, Ellis JH (1996).  Potential environmental impacts of future halocarbon emissions.  Environmental Science and Technology.  30(8).
  • Pan K, Jones NP, Ellis JH (1996).  Identification of wind spectral characteristics from structure response.  Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability, Proceedings of the Specialty Conference.  482-485.
  • Pan K, Jones NP, Ellis JH (1996).  System and input identification with partially correlated load processes.  Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability, Proceedings of the Specialty Conference.  138-141.
  • Jiang M, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1996).  Including inspection imperfection in optimizing structural management policies.  Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability, Proceedings of the Specialty Conference.  368-371.
  • Lee YM, Ellis JH (1996).  Comparison of algorithms for nonlinear integer optimization: Application to monitoring network design.  Journal of Environmental Engineering.  122(6).  524-531.
  • Jones NP, Ellis JH, Pan K (1996).  Advances in system identification using output measurements.  Proceedings of Engineering Mechanics.  1.  160-163.
  • Shi T, Jones NP, Ellis JH (1995).  System identification using output measurements.  Proceedings of Engineering Mechanics.  1.  305-308.
  • Tao Z, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1995).  Reliability-based structural design with markov decision processes.  Journal of Structural Engineering (United States).  121(6).  971-980.
  • Tao Z, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1994).  Reliability-based bridge design and life cycle management with Markov decision processes.  Structural Safety.  16(1-2).  111-132.
  • ReVelle C, Ellis JH (1994).  Models for Water and Air Quality Management.  Handbooks in Operations Research and Management Science.  6(C).  365-401.
  • Akbora BA, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1993).  Optimization Of Structural Frames With Elastic And Plastic Constraints.  Civil Engineering Systems.  10(2).  147-169.
  • Zimmerman JJ, Ellis JH, Corotis RB (1993).  Stochastic optimization models for structural-reliability analysis.  Journal of Structural Engineering (United States).  119(1).  223-239.
  • Tao Z, Ellis JH, Corotis RB (1992).  Markov decision processes in structural optimization.  Probabilistic Mechanics and Structural and Geotechnical Reliability, Proceedings of the Specialty Conference.  539-542.
  • Zimmerman JJ, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1992).  Structural system reliability considerations with frame instability.  Engineering Structures.  14(6).  371-378.
  • Zimmerman JJ, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1991).  Axial force-moment interaction in system reliability.  Mechanics Computing in 1990's and Beyond.  243-247.
  • Zimmerman JJ, Corotis RB, Ellis JH (1991).  Stochastic programs for identifying significant collapse modes in structural systems.  Lecture Notes in Engineering.  (61).  359-367.
  • Ellis JH (1990).  Integrating multiple long-range transport models into optimization methodologies for acid rain policy analysis.  European Journal of Operational Research.  46(3).  313-321.
  • Trujillo-Ventura A, Ellis JH (1990).  Optimum design of air pollution monitoring networks. A mathematical programming approach.  National Conference on Environmental Engineering.  605-612.
  • Gorti SR, Morris RG, Ellis JH, Cohon JL (1990).  A graphical surface navigation technique for multiobjective programming.  Civil Engineering Systems.  7(3).  178-184.
  • Ellis JH, ReVelle CS (1988).  A SEPARABLE LINEAR ALGORITHM FOR HYDROPOWER OPTIMIZATION.  JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  24(2).  435-447.
  • Ellis JH (1988).  Multiobjective mathematical programming models for acid rain control.  European Journal of Operational Research.  35(3).  365-377.
  • Ellis JH (1987).  Stochastic water quality optimization using imbedded chance constraints.  Water Resources Research.  23(12).  2227-2238.
  • Ellis JH (1987).  OPTIMIZATION MODELS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ACID RAIN ABATEMENT STRATEGIES..  Civil Engineering Systems.  4(2).  58-66.
  • Ellis JH, McBean EA, Farquhar GJ (1986).  Chance-constrained/stochastic linear programming model for acid rain abatement-II. Limited colinearity* * Part I was published in Atmospheric Environment 19, 925-937..  Atmospheric Environment (1967).  20(3).  501-511.
  • Ellis JH, McBean EA, Farquhar GJ (1985).  Deterministic linear programming model for acid rain abatement.  Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States).  111(2).  119-139.
  • McBean EA, Ellis JH, Fortin M (1985).  A screening model for the development and evaluation of acid rain abatement strategies.  Journal of Environmental Management.  21(4).  287-299.
  • Ellis JH, McBean EA, Farquhar GJ (1985).  Chance-constrained/stochastic linear programming model for acid rain abatement-I. Complete colinearity and noncolinearity.  Atmospheric Environment (1967).  19(6).  925-937.
  • Ellis JH, McBean EA, Farquhar GJ (1985).  Stochastic optimization/simulation of centralized liquid industrial waste treatment.  Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States).  111(6).  804-821.
  • Ellis JH (1985).  Application of stochastic dissolved oxygen model.  Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States).  111(3).  391-393.
  • Ellis JH, McBean A, Mulamoottil G (1982).  Design of dual drainage systems using SWMM..  Journal of the Hydraulics Division - ASCE.  108(HY10).  1222-1227.
  • "Energy Sector Emissions Downscaling: Methods and Challenges", Trans-Atlantic Infraday Conference.  Washington, DC.  November 10, 2016
  • "On the Identification of Associations between Flow Cytometry Data and Systemic Sclerosis Clinical Manifestations", 2014 P30 Rheumatology Retreat.  Baltimore, MD.  May 28, 2014
  • "Systems Engineering Modeling of Rheumatic Diseases: The Scleroderma-Cancer Example", 2014 P30 Rheumatology Retreat.  Baltimore, MD.  May 28, 2014
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