Carnegie Mellon University
June 22, 2017

AEESP Honors Small with 2017 O’Melia Award

Professor Mitch Small with his award

Professor Mitch Small, the H. John Heinz, III Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, recently received the 2017 Charles R. O’Melia Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).

Professor Small has upheld a tradition of excellence in teaching, advising, mentoring, and research beginning in 1982 when he joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty. He has shown great skill in engaging students and demonstrating how quantitative analysis can bring deep insight and predictive ability in analysis of engineering problems, design, and policy formulation and analysis. Small equips students with quantitative tools in statistical modeling and process modeling that enables them to excel in practice, academia, and government.

David Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and CEE Department Head, said of his long-time colleague: “Mitch Small’s combination of skills and interests in environmental engineering, probability and statistics, risk analysis, and public policy have enabled an outstanding, unique career as an environmental engineering educator. His classroom teaching, his textbook, and his mentoring have enriched the lives and careers of generations of students. Charlie O’Melia, who knew Mitch well, would be very pleased with this recognition. The entire CEE community congratulates Mitch.”

Small is widely recognized as a national leader in the development of integrated assessment for civil-environmental engineering decision-making. His path-breaking research, which has involved more than 50 graduate students pursuing MS and PhD degrees in CEE and EPP, has focused on building and applying models that link contaminant fate and transport, human behavior, exposure, and risk to inform engineering decisions as well as policy and regulation formation.

Small’s work has significantly advanced stochastic approaches in environmental engineering modeling, where the need is great because of the variability in the natural and engineered systems of interest.Further, he has linked the results of stochastic modeling directly to civil-environmental engineering decision-making.

Created in 2012, the O'Melia Award honors Professor Charles R. O'Melia (1934-2010), a respected educator who was considered one of the leading researchers in water and wastewater treatment, aquatic colloid chemistry, and modeling of natural and engineered systems. As a result of his excellence in teaching and research and his outstanding mentoring of students and colleagues, Professor O'Melia’s legacy continues through the teaching and research of his former students who are now faculty members at leading universities worldwide.

Small was honored at the AEESP 2017 Conference Banquet on June 22, 2017, at his PhD alma mater, the University of Michigan