Academy of Distinguished Alumni

George Tchobanoglous

George Tchobanoglous Ph.D., P.E., N.A.E.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

George Tchobanoglous received an M.S. (1960) degree in Civil (Sanitary) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a B.S. (1958) degree in Civil Engineering from the University of the Pacific (1958), and a Ph.D. (1969) degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. For more than 35 years, Prof. Tchobanoglous taught courses on water and wastewater treatment and solid waste management at the University of California, Davis, where he is presently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Prior to moving to U.C. Davis in 1969, Prof. Tchobanoglous held the positions of Assistant Professor at Stanford University (1967-1969) and Sanitary Engineer at Metcalf and Eddy, Inc. (1963-1969).  

Prof. Tchobanoglous is an international authority on wastewater treatment, management, and reuse and in solid waste management, including waste reduction, recycling, and disposal. In the 1970s, he performed seminal research on, and pioneered the use of, constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment. For Caltrans, he directed the development of a series of four regional guidance manuals on the restoration, rehabilitation, and creation of salt marshes. His research on filtration technologies for wastewater treatment led to California state approval of five new treatment technologies. His work in the use of ultraviolet (UV) radiation for wastewater disinfection began in the early 1990s. Guidelines for UV disinfection that he helped to draft in 1993 became "the standard" U.S. resource on this topic.

Prof. Tchobanoglous has authored or coauthored more than 500 publications, including 22 textbooks and eight engineering reference books. Amongst his awards and honors are the Jack Edward McKee Medal from the Water Environment Federation (1999) and the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize from the National Water Research Institute (2003). In 2004, he was inducted into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Colorado School of Mines. In 2007, he received the Frederick George Pohland Medal awarded by American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES). In 2012, he received the Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Award from AAEES.     

Prof. Tchobanoglous has been a long-time friend to Berkeley CEE. He has presented numerous lectures over many years. Most recently, he has helped form the CEE Environmental Engineering Alumni Leadership Council. He has been appointed to the interim Steering Committee of the Council and he has provided enthusiastic leadership and vision for showcasing the accomplishments of CEE's Environmental Engineering alumni.