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ASU dean honored for environmental engineering achievements

ASU engineering dean Paul Johnson
July 28, 2014

Paul Johnson, dean of Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and professor in its School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, is the recipient of the 2014 Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to environmental engineering.

Johnson’s “remarkable career as a pioneer, inventor and educator” in the field was cited in presenting him the award at the Battelle International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds in Monterey, California.

His expertise is in determining impacts posed by contaminants in the environment, and developing methods to remedy or reduce the impacts.

Specifically, his work focuses on contaminated soil and groundwater remediation and human health risk assessment. His research is the basis for many widely used technologies and regulatory measures on human health risk assessment.

In 2011, his research group received the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year Award, which is given by the U.S Department of Defense’s environmental science and technology program in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Paul’s contributions to the world of remediation bridge both academics and applied science,” said Jeffrey Pintenich, vice president and technology director for Brown and Caldwell. “He has mentored generations of engineering students, and his work has led to proven, measurable environmental advances on hundreds of projects in North America and around the world.”

Pintenich further noted Johnson’s “decades of pioneering work that have contributed to the practical understanding of volatile chemical vapor migration and mitigation, the development of new techniques for soil and aquifer remediation, and advances in the understanding of remediation processes that have enabled the field to flourish.”

Prior to joining the faculty at ASU in 1994, Johnson was a senior research engineer at Shell Oil/Shell Chemical Westhollow Technology Center. He was editor of the National Ground Water Association’s journal, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation from 2003-2011.

Along with the Brown and Caldwell award, in 2006 Johnson’s professional contributions also earned him the Association for the Environmental Health of Soils Academic Career Recognition Award.

In recognition of his contributions to education, Johnson was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Arizona Professional Engineers Society in 2011 and, earlier this year, received the Nathan Burbank Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the AZ Water Association, a nonprofit educational organization serving as the state chapter of the American Water Works Association and the state member association of the Water Environment Federation.

The sponsor of Johnson’s latest award, Brown and Caldwell, is a major environmental engineering and consulting firm with 50 offices throughout the country.