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Getting the sign right ...

Francis Clay McMichael, April 27, 2009

4:30pm - Adamson Wing, 136a Baker Hall

I have been at Carnegie Mellon since 1967, more than 40 years of active duty. Presently, I am a Professor Emeritus who served four presidents [Guyford Stever, Richard Cyert, Robert Merabian, and Jared Cohon] and numerous deans and department heads in the engineering college. I witnessed the merger of Mellon Institute with the Carnegie Institute of Technology to Carnegie Mellon University, and participated in the conversion of Department of Civil Engineering to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I was the first outsider to be appointed jointly as an untenured faculty member in the Program of Engineering and Public Affairs which became the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, and served as the Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Acting Head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. I was appointed the first Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor of Environmental Engineering (1981 - 2002), retired in 2002 to Professor Emeritus, and was roasted by my colleagues in 2005.

My Journeys Lecture will recall my lucky life from an orphanage in Philadelphia, a scholarship-supported education at major private universities, to the life of a scholar and engineering teacher. I worked as a draftsman, carried cement and bricks, worked in an underground coal mine, did geophysical exploration for oil, worked in a sewage treatment plant and on the topside of coke ovens. These jobs were easier than teaching fluid mechanics to undergraduates. In recent years, I have pondered ‘if recycling is the answer, what is the question?’

Dr. Francis Clay McMichael is the Walter J. Blenko, Sr. Professor of Environmental Engineering; Professor, Engineering and Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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