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Perry L. McCarty

Affiliate, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Perry L. McCarty, Silas H. Palmer Professor Emeritus, came to Stanford University in 1962 to found a new multidisciplinary education and research program in environmental engineering and science that became a model for others throughout the country. From 1980 to 1985 he was Chairman of Stanford's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and from 1989 to 2002 he served as Director of the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center. He received a B.S. Degree in civil engineering from Wayne State University (1953), and M.S. (1957) and Sc.D. (1959) degrees in sanitary engineering from M.I.T.

The focus of McCarty's research, teaching, and writing has been on water, with a primary interest in biological processes for the control of environmental contamination. His early research was on anaerobic treatment processes, biological processes for nitrogen removal and water reuse. Recent interests are on aerobic and anaerobic processes for the treatment of domestic and industrial wastewaters, and the movement, fate, and control of groundwater contaminants.

His numerous awards and accolades for pioneering work on improving water quality worldwide includes memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. McCarty won the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 1992, the Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Water Science and Technology in 1997, and the Stockholm Water Prize in 2007. In 2011 the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Foundation established the Perry L. McCarty AEESP Founder's Award, given annually in recognition of McCarty's significant contributions to environmental engineering education, research, and practice. The Directorship of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, part of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, was named in his honor.

McCarty has written and coauthored over 350 papers, plus the textbooks, Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science, and Environmental Biotechnology - Principles and Applications.


Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sanitary Engineering (1959)
S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sanitary Engineering (1957)
B.S., Wayne State University, Civil Engineering (1953)