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Syracuse University’s Charles T. Driscoll Jr. elected member of the National Academy of Engineering
Syracuse University’s Charles T. Driscoll Jr. elected member of the National Academy of EngineeringFebruary 15, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Charles T. Driscoll Jr., University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering in Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS) and a world-renowned researcher in the areas of acid rain and mercury pollution, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice and education” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.” Members provide leadership and expertise for numerous projects focused on the relationships involving engineering, technology and the quality of life.
Driscoll was elected in recognition of his “leadership in understanding the ecological impact of acid rain and mercury depositions.” He joins an elite group of 2,217 NAE members and 188 foreign associates.
“It has been a remarkable experience and a great honor to be named to the National Academy of Engineering,” says Driscoll. “I hope I can live up to the honor, and I look forward to the challenges and the responsibilities that it brings.”
SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor lauds Driscoll for this accomplishment. “Recognition at this level for Charley affirms what the SU community has known about his work for many years: that it is of the very highest caliber and addresses some of the most important issues facing humanity today,” she says. “It also will draw attention to his ongoing research agenda, as well as the fertile ground that we have here at SU for fostering innovation that matters.”
Driscoll’s SU colleagues say the enormous impact of his research on the effects of air pollution on forest, aquatic and coastal ecosystems has been seen locally, regionally and globally.
“This is a very proud moment for Syracuse University as our longtime friend and colleague receives a very prestigious and richly deserved honor. Charley has made real and long-lasting contributions to our University, to the disciplines of civil and environmental engineering, and to our world through rigorous research that has influenced both science and policy,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “Charley’s groundbreaking work on acid rain and mercury epitomizes Scholarship in Action: a great researcher performing outstanding science, educating groups from students through policymakers and affecting positive change in our environment.”
“All of us in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science are tremendously proud to have another one of our faculty members elected to the National Academy,” says LCS Interim Dean Shiu-Kai Chin. “Charley’s work exemplifies the very reason for engineering: engineering exists to support society. Charley’s work demonstrates that society is best served when data trump ideology.”
“Charley Driscoll exemplifies one of the signature strengths of Central New York — leadership in creating knowledge and innovations to improve natural and urban environments,” says Edward A. Bogucz, executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. “Charley is a tireless contributor to countless projects that engage local firms and institutions. We all celebrate that Charley’s accomplishments have earned the highest recognition nationally.”
Driscoll has been a faculty member at Syracuse University since 1979. He is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Long-Term Ecological Research Project at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in West Thornton, N.H. Driscoll was a co-author of three landmark studies released by the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation: on acid rain in 2001, on nitrogen pollution in 2003 and on mercury pollution this past January. The most recent report prompted U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to call for a national mercury-monitoring network and renew the call for vast reductions in mercury emissions.
Driscoll has had more than 80 research projects funded through competitive research programs such as the NSF and the Environmental Protection Agency; has written more than 290 peer-reviewed articles; and has provided expert testimony before Congress numerous times. Driscoll’s research has ranged from the effects of mercury pollution on loons in the Adirondacks, to environmental issues in the Great Lakes and the Florida Everglades, to helping develop technology to monitor the water quality in waterways in Upstate New York. His research has been instrumental in forging plans to remediate Onondaga Lake.
He currently serves on the National Research Council Committee on Collaborative Larger Scale Engineering Analysis for Environmental Research, the National Research Council Committee on Everglades Restoration, and the Air Quality Working Group for the State of the Nations Ecosystems project at the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment.
Driscoll is recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an SU Chancellor’s Citation for Academic Achievement (1985), the Anaren Microwave Award for Excellence in Engineering (1989) and an IBM Corp. Environmental Research Program Award (1993). In addition, he is an Institute of Scientific Information Highly Cited Researcher for Engineering and Environmental Science (2003-present).
He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine in 1974 and master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering from Cornell University in 1976 and 1980, respectively.