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Crittenden recognized for engineering contributions

October 20, 2008

Professor John Crittenden, holder of the Richard Snell Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at ASU, has been selected as one of the Top 100 Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The honor recognizes those who have made ground-breaking contributions to the field and to society through their work.

Selected by a special review panel of distinguished members of the institute, which is celebrating its centennial year, the Top 100 will be spotlighted at the organization’s annual meeting and centennial celebration in Philadelphia in November.

Crittenden is being recognized for his leadership as the director of the National Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technologies, one of four exploratory environmental research centersfunded primarily by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The center, which operated for eight years, focused on pollution prevention. Its work involved  devising clean technologies and process design tools to help create industrial facilities in which waste is minimized through the application of economically viable technologies, and a combination of optimized manufacturing processes, treatment operations, and reuse of materials.

A collaborative effort of  Michigan Technological University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the center involved 60 faculty from 16 academic units and more than 200 graduate students.Together they worked on ways to produce chemicals in an environmentally benign manner and to develop tools that allow designers to integrate pollution prevention and environmental considerations into manufacturing processes and product design environments. The work resulted in 135 published research papers, 81 professional proceedings, 7 patents, and 347 presentations.
Crittenden is one of 12 faculty members in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was elected in 2002. He is leading the sustainable engineering thrust within the school of engineering and is associate editor of the national journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Crittenden's research and teaching interests encompass sustainability, pollution prevention, physical-chemical treatment processes, numerical methods, and modeling of wastewater and water-treatment processes.

He has directed 61 research projects with a total budget of more than $25 million. Among the most notable have been the Center for Clean Industry and Treatment Technologies and an evaluation of the water-treatment system for the space station Freedom.

The research projects he has directed or been involved in during the last two decades have produced reports and articles in more than 100 publications, two patents, a book and numerous contributions to various science and engineering meetings and conferences.

He and his students have won 23 national awards, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Huber Research Prize, two American Water Works Association best research paper awards, two Water Environment Federation best research paper awards, and the ASCE Rudolph Hering medal. 

Crittenden earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and a masters of science and Ph.D.  in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Michigan.