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Clarkson University Confers Two Honorary Doctoral Degrees During International Conference

[Photographs for newspaper use are available at]

Two environmental engineering scholars were honored recently as Clarkson University hosted the first biennial Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Research and Education Conference. Luthy and Omelia

Dr. Charles R. O’Melia, a pioneer in aquatic colloid chemistry, has made significant contributions to the theories of coagulation, flocculation, and filtration leading to improved water treatment practices throughout the world.  He is the Abel Wolman Professor of Environmental Engineering and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.  O’Melia received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College, and both his Masters of Science and Ph.D. in Sanitary Engineering from the University of Michigan. 

O’Melia has had academic appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.  He joined the faculty of the Geography and Environmental Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and served as chairman of the department from 1990 – 1995 and from 2004 to the present.

In 1989, O’Melia was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  He has served on two National Research Council (NRC) boards and several NRC committees and also served as an environmental consultant to several companies, including Monsanto and Union Carbide.

Dr. Richard G. Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and past Chair of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board.  His area of teaching and research is physicochemical processes and water quality.    His research includes interdisciplinary approaches to understand phase partitioning and availability of organic contaminants and the application of water quality engineering and environmental quality criteria.  Luthy has served on Clarkson’s engineering advisory council for civil and environmental engineering.

Dr. Luthy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Master of Science  and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.  Prior to joining Stanford University’s faculty, he was the head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  Dr. Luthy is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has served on several NRC committees.

Tony Collins, Clarkson University President, spoke of the legacy of the two men being honored, as well as their connections to the University.  From a personal perspective he recalled how Dr. O’Melia  had sent him an encouraging letter complementing and encouraging him on a paper he had written early in his career.  Collins also noted that as a new Clarkson department chair he received an acceptance from a very busy Dr. Luthy to serve on an advisory board.  He thanked Luthy for always finding the time to offer help and advice.

AEESP is made up of professors in academic programs who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection.  There are more than 700 AEESP members in universities throughout the world.  The association promotes excellence in environmental engineering education and research and encourages graduate education.  AEESP further serves the profession by providing information to government agencies and the public.  

Clarkson University is a private, nationally ranked university attracting enterprising, high-ability scholars from diverse backgrounds who thrive in a rigorous, collaborative learning environment.  Learning is in a positive, friendly and supportive atmosphere that spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge.  Faculty pursue research and connect students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.  The University enrolls 3,000 undergraduates and 400 graduate students.  For more information, visit 

PHOTO CAPTION:  D. Charles R. O’Melia (L) and Dr. Richard G. Luthy (R) received honorary doctoral degrees at the first biennial Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Research and Education Conference, July 23 – July 27.  The conference was hosted by Clarkson University in collaboration with Syracuse University. 

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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