Dr. Greg Characklis, professor of environmental sciences and engineering at The University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been elected president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). After serving the past year as president-elect, he took office as president at the June 2015 AEESP Conference, hosted by Yale University.
AEESP members include professors in academic programs throughout the world who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection.
“I am honored to be the fifth member of the UNC Gillings School’s environmental sciences and engineering family to be elected AEESP president and to follow in the footsteps of Drs. Charlie O’Melia (1979), Fran DiGiano (1982), Mike Aitken (2002) and Phil Singer (2007),” Characklis said.
In the 50-year history of the AEESP, UNC is the only academic institution with five faculty members to receive this honor.
Dr. Characklis has been a member of the UNC faculty since 2001. His primary research interests involve developing solutions to water resource challenges through systems-based approaches that integrate consideration of both engineering and economic principles. Specific areas of interest include the development of improved strategies for managing water supply and treatment systems, exploration of the economic and environmental tradeoffs associated with energy production (e.g., hydropower, biofuels), and the management of environmental financial risks. Dr. Characklis also serves as director of the Center for Watershed Science and Management within UNC’s Institute for the Environment.
“The environmental engineering discipline is currently evolving in a number of ways that will affect research funding and the ways in which we train our students,” Dr. Characklis said of his new role with the AEESP. “I hope to facilitate an open conversation about how we might, as a field, respond to these changes.”