Bill Mitch received a B.A. in Anthropology (Archaeology) from Harvard University in 1993. During his studies, he excavated at Mayan sites in Belize and surveyed sites dating from 2,000 B.C. in Louisiana. He switched fields by receiving a M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. He worked for 3 years in environmental consulting, receiving his P.E. license in Civil Engineering in California. Returning to UC Berkeley in 2000, he received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2003. He moved to Yale as an assistant professor after graduation. His dissertation received the AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2004. At Yale, he serves as the faculty advisor for the Yale Student Chapter of Engineers without Borders. In 2007, he won a NSF CAREER Award. He moved to Stanford University as an associate professor in 2013.
Employing a fundamental understanding of organic chemical reaction pathways, his research explores links between public health, engineering and sustainability. Topics of current interest include: Public Health and Emerging Carcinogens, Global Warming and Oceanography, Sustainability and Persistant Organic Pollutants (POPs), Engineering for Sustainable Wastewater Recycling, and Carbon Sequestration. Bill is also a co-director of the Association of Pacific Rim University Sustainable Waste Management (APRU SWM) program.