Perry L. McCarty, Ph.D.

Perry L. McCarty, Ph.D.

Pioneer in Environmental Engineering with Extensive Research
on Ground Water, Waste Water, and Water Purity

Dr. Perry McCarty is known for his research into the treatment of water and wastewater.  Stanford University, where he taught for many years, recognizes him as one of the pioneers of the discipline now known as environmental engineering.  He is author of over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers, ten patents, and two text books that are standards in the field.

Dr. McCarty, Silas H. Palmer Professor Emeritus, joined the Stanford faculty in 1962 when he came to help develop the environmental engineering and science program. From 1980 to 1985 he was Chairman of Stanford’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. From 1989 to 2002 he served as Director of the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center. He has a B.S. degree in civil engineering from Wayne St. University (1953), and M.S. (‘57) and Sc.D. (‘59) degrees in sanitary engineering from M.I.T.

The focus of his research and teaching has been on water with primary interest in biological processes for the control of environmental contaminants. His early research was on anaerobic treatment processes, biological processes for nitrogen removal, and water reuse. Current interests are on aerobic and anaerobic biological processes for treatment of domestic wastewaters, and movement, fate, and control of groundwater contaminants.

He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1977 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996. He received the John and Alice 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.

Professor McCarty has over 350 publications and is coauthor of the textbooks Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science and Environmental Biotechnology – Principles and Applications.

Among his many honors and awards, he received these in the last two decades:

  • Stanford Engineering Hero, School of Engineering, Stanford University (2016)
  • Gordon Maskew Fair Award, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (2014)
  • Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal, National Audubon Society (2013)
  • Distinguished Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (2012)
  • Fellow, Water Environment Federation (2012)
  • Honorary Fellow, the Chinese Institute of Environmental Engineering, Taiwan (2011)
  • Honorary Professor, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (2011)
  • Honorary Professor, Harbin Institute of Technology, China (2011)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2010)
  • Honorary Member, American Academy of Environmental Engineers (2009)
  • Water Industry Hall of Fame, American Water Works Association (2009)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Brown and Caldwell (2008)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Groundwater Resources Association of California (2008)
  • Stockholm Water Prize, SIWA (2007)
  • Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecturer, National Academies (2001)


Perry McCarty. Wikipedia.