Delaware DNREC Senior Engineer Named Fellow

June 20, 2018


Frank F. Gao, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a senior engineer and project leader for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

Gao joined the Division of Air Quality of DNREC in 1997. In his current positions he has been in charge of Delaware’s planning and development of control strategy for attaining National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of the ground level ozone. In particular, he was the lead engineer instrumental in developing 14 Delaware state implementation plans (SIPs), and plan amendments, under the Clean Air Act.

Such SIPs are important components of Delaware’s framework of air emission control programs and regulations. Implementation of those programs and compliance with the regulations, through joint efforts among regulatory agencies, industries, and communities, enabled the state to reach the 1990 1-hour ozone NAAQS in 2005, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in 2011, and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in 2016. Ozone in Delaware’s ambient air has been improved significantly from the early 1990s to the late 2010s. In recent years, Gao has been a project leader for developing or revising seven Delaware air pollution rules.

As a member of ASCE, he is proud of what he and his team have achieved and what such achievements have contributed to the better air quality in Delaware and the surrounding region. His involvement in ASCE started in 1987 as a recruiting committee member at New Mexico State University.

Gao’s other major experiences include the advisory committee for Ph.D. students in civil engineering with the University of Delaware, a post-doc scientist position with USDA Salinity Laboratory, a three-year career as senior engineer with a solid-waste management firm, and a four-year teaching stint in engineering survey with two Chinese universities. He has more than 30 technical papers and reports published in peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, and professional books.

He received a B.S. in Engineering Survey in 1982 from Central South University (China), an M.S. in civil engineering in 1989 from New Mexico State University, a Ph.D. in soil-environmental science in 1996 from University of California, Riverside, and an MBA in International Business in 2005 from University of Delaware. He has been a licensed civil engineer, registered in Delaware, since 1998.

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