Innovative Environmental Engineering Educator Elected Fellow

May 16, 2016


Christopher G. Uchrin, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, an esteemed environmental engineer and educator, has been elevated to the status of Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.

After graduating from Manhattan College, Uchrin worked as an environmental engineer for the Environmental Protection Agency until 1977, when he was awarded a Rackham Graduate Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

In 1980 he was hired as an assistant professor at Rutgers University, eventually being promoted to associate professor and then full professor. There he served first as the director of the Environmental Science Graduate Program and afterward as chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences. In 1992 he and the late Paul Lioy, Ph.D., established the first doctoral program in exposure science.

Appointed director of a moribund undergraduate program in bioresource engineering at Rutgers in 1999, he led its transformation into a successful bioenvironmental engineering for the undergraduates. He also initiated the development of a master’s program in bioenvironmental engineering, and is currently its director.

Uchrin chaired a National Committee on Social and Environmental Impacts and Analysis for ASCE’s Water Resources Planning and Management Division. He currently serves as an associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, having previously spent nine years as associate editor of the Society’s Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. He has also served as president of the New Jersey Academy of Science, and been a member of the Whippany River Watershed Management Project’s Technical Advisory Committee and the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program’s Modeling Evaluation Groups. Uchrin has been a registered professional engineer (NY) since 1977. He has served for the past three years as vice-chair of the Lebanon Borough Planning Board.

In his time at Rutgers, he has advised 37 Ph.D. recipients. Many of these have gone on to productive careers in all sectors of the environmental field. They have also been the backbone of his research team, which focuses on the development and refinement of field and laboratory experiments and apparatus for the definition of more accurate reaction rate parameters for use in modeling the transport and fate of contaminants in aquatic ecosystems. To support this research Uchrin brought in nearly $10 million dollars in external grants and contracts from government and industrial sources.

Uchrin’s research has been published in over 100 articles and papers in high-impact environmental engineering and science journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. His research group was among the first to report the potential for uptake of MTBE by organic soils. His team also reported seminal research on the potential for VOC intrusion from groundwater into home basements. The group’s research on in situ and laboratory determinations of sediment oxygen demand has advanced the state of the art for this key process in surface waters, culminating in the collaborative design and deployment of a novel SOD apparatus for which a patent has been applied.

Uchrin received his B.E. in civil engineering in 1972 and his M.E. in environmental engineering in 1974, both from Manhattan College. He received his Ph.D. in environmental and water resources engineering in 1980, under the direction of Walter J. Weber, Jr. (F.ASCE).

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