Academy of Distinguished Alumni
Bernard Saunier Ph.D., P.E., G.E.
Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on
Bernard Saunier received his M.S. (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate school focus was in environmental engineering. He also received an Engineer degree (1971) from the Ecole Nationale du Génie de l’Eau et de l’Environnement de Strasbourg (France) and a Sanitary Engineer degree (1972) from the Ecole Nationale de la Santé Publique (France). After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Saunier returned to France and founded Saunier Eau & Environment where he served as President and CEO. Today retired, Dr. Saunier had a distinguished career with numerous contributions to the water and sanitation industries in France and around the world.
Dr. Saunier combines the qualities of an accomplished entrepreneur, businessman, and technical consultant. With respect to the former, shortly after completing his Ph.D. at Berkeley, he founded and led Saunier and Associates, creating a highly respected engineering consultancy. In 1986, Saunier and Associates joined the international engineering company SAFEGE, a subsidiary to one of the world’s leading industrial utilities, SUEZ. He served as CEO of SAFGE, a firm of 2,000 employees for 17 years. In this role, he was the youngest Division President in SUEZ history at the time. He then became responsible for the leadership of both SAFEGE and Lyonnaise des Eaux Services Associés, two international companies with world-wide operations. As a technical consultant, Dr. Saunier is an international authority on chlorination chemistry and the production of disinfection by-products. During his career, he has consulted to utilities regarding water quality and water supply issues for systems serving millions of people around the world. More recently, his focus has been on developing technology for recovering heat from sanitary sewer systems.
For many years, Dr. Saunier has been an active member of the American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, American Society of Civil Engineers, Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, International Water Association, and Association Scientifique et Technique pour l’Eau et l’Environment. In 1976, his Berkeley Ph.D. dissertation was awarded first prize amongst candidate water/wastewater Ph.D. dissertations by the American Water Works Association. For his career accomplishments, he was elected in 2007 to the French Academy of Technology. In 2006, he received the Francinov Research and Innovation Gold Medal, and in 2003, he was chosen for the Legion d’honneur, the highest French order of merit for civilians.
Dr. Saunier has been a long-time friend to Berkeley CEE, through scholarship support and as an informal “ambassador” of the program, in France, and around the world.