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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Philippe Baveye To Join Rensselaer Faculty as Kodak Chair in Environmental Engineering

July 20, 2010

Philippe Baveye To Join Rensselaer Faculty as Kodak Chair in Environmental Engineering

New Tenured Professor Will Add Interdisciplinary Expertise in Hydrology, Soil Science

Hydrology and soil science pioneer Philippe Baveye will join Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this summer as the Kodak Chair in Environmental Engineering. His new appointment, as a tenured full professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is effective August 16.

“Rensselaer has a long history and rich tradition in civil and environmental engineering. With the first degree-granting civil engineering program in the United States, and one of the first programs in environmental engineering, Rensselaer has built a proud lineage of faculty and alumni who have gone on to impact their profession and improve the quality of life for people everywhere. As holder of the Kodak Chair in Environmental Engineering, Dr. Baveye will help to further solidify the Institute’s leadership in this critical field,” said David Rosowsky, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer.

“Dr. Baveye is a renowned researcher and talented educator who brings a wealth of experience to Rensselaer,” Rosowsky said. “We are fortunate to be able to attract someone of his caliber and international stature, and look forward to great things from his research team.”

Baveye is the second senior faculty member recruited by the School of Engineering this year into the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This year marks the 175th anniversary of civil engineering at Rensselaer. The institute will host a series of programs and events in October to celebrate and commemorate this historic milestone.

A pioneer in the field of hydrologic and environmental science and engineering, Baveye is recognized as an international leader in fundamental water resources research. With a strong focus on both micro-scale phenomena in soils and remote sensing, his interdisciplinary investigations are often at the interface of soil physics with soil chemistry, soil microbiology, and environmental geophysics.

One specific research thrust is looking at how engineered nanomaterials behave in subsurface environments, and the possible effect of nanomaterials on the movement and transport of soil contaminants. Baveye is also an expert with extensive experience in computational modeling, a well-known strength and area of excellence at Rensselaer.

Baveye comes to Rensselaer from Cornell University, which he joined in 1989 following a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Cornell, he was involved in a number of institutes and departments, and from 2002 onward served as director of the Laboratory of Geoenvironmental Science and Engineering.

In 2007, Baveye was named professor and chair of soil ecosystems modeling at the Scottish Informatics, Mathematics, Biology and Statistics (SIMBIOS) research center housed at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, and a member of the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES). He currently serves as chair of computational modeling and director of SIMBIOS. In addition to his continuing research at Cornell and his leadership at Dundee, Baveye serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Hydrology, one of the top three journals in the field of water resources. He also has a long-standing interest in research on self-directed learning, and is currently working on a book about the future of higher education.

Along with being actively involved in many professional societies, Baveye was elected in 2009 as a foreign member of the French Academy of Agriculture. Also in 2009, he was selected as a featured scientist in the “Great Minds” exhibition created by the Scottish Science Centres. In 2008, Baveye received the Soil and Water Conservation Society Editor’s Choice Award, which recognized his article “Soils and runaway global warming: Terra incognita” published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Other awards include the 2004 Innovative Teaching Award from the Cornell Center of Information Technology, and the 2001 Mentoring Award from the Association of Women Soil Scientists in recognition of excellence in encouraging others to develop professionally.

Originally from Belgium, Baveye earned his master’s degree in continuum mechanics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1983, and his doctoral degree in soil science from the University of California Riverside in 1985. In 2002, he received an honorary doctorate from the International Sakharov Environmental University in Minsk, Belarus.