Charles Stillwell, Ph.D.

I'm interested in urban hydrology and data science. How do cities change water budgets and flow regimes? Can green stormwater infrastructure or other sustainable approaches counteract hydrologic alteration? Monitoring, modeling, and statistical analysis are needed to gain a better understanding of urban issues such as flooding, poor water quality, and ecologic degradation. 


Current Projects

Understanding the effects of stormwater management practices on water quality and flow

Urban development can have detrimental impacts on streams including altering hydrology, increasing nutrient, sediment, and pollutant loadings, and degrading biological integrity. Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) can be used to mitigate the effects of urban development by retaining large volumes of stormwater runoff and treating runoff to remove pollutants. This project focuses on understanding how the presence, type, and spatial pattern of urban stormwater BMPs in a watershed impacts ecosystem processes and function.

Monitoring and assessment of the French Broad River before, during, and after I-26 construction

We have partnered with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to assess the water-quality and geomorphologic impacts resulting from the I-26 construction projects in western North Carolina. Streamflow, precipitation, and water-quality monitoring data, coupled with periodic assessments of geomorphology, will support the NCDOT construction-site inspections by allowing adaptive responses to potential construction impacts and provide the public with readily accessible, objective information regarding conditions in the French Broad River corridor.

North Carolina Stochastic Empirical Loading and Dilution Model

We have partnered with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to conduct a series of scenario analyses using the USGS SELDM model. These scenario analyses will be specific to North Carolina and will be used to help to determine what combinations of upstream basin attributes and highway design specfication may impact downstream surface water quality and quantity. 



  • Ph.D. - Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2019
  • M.Eng. - Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2016
  • B.S. - Civil Engineering, Drexel University, 2014



  • Stillwell, C. C., Hunt, W. F., Page, J. L., Baird, J. B., and Kennedy, S. G. (2018). Stormwater management in nutrient sensitive watersheds: A case study investigating impervious cover limits and pollutant-load regulations. Water Science and Technology, 78 (3), 664-675.
  • Stillwell, C. C. (2019). Urban Hydrology and Low Impact Development: Exploring New Metrics for Design and Evaluation Across Temporal and Spatial Scales. North Carolina State University.