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Water Chemistry Laboratory to be named in honor of Vernon L. Snoeyink

A laboratory honoring Professor Emeritus Vernon L. Snoeyink will be built as part of the CEE Modernization Project, thanks to gifts from his past students and colleagues, as well as a leadership gift from civil and environmental engineering firm Greeley and Hansen. The Vernon L. Snoeyink Water Chemistry Laboratory will be built in the Hydro Lab addition.

Professor Emeritus Vernon L. Snoeyink
Professor Emeritus Vernon L. Snoeyink

“I am truly honored to be recognized by my colleagues and former students in this way,” Snoeyink said. “So many of our undergraduate and graduate students have gone on to distinguish themselves by their contributions to our profession and to society in general. The name and reputation of the University of Illinois goes with our graduates when they leave campus, and it is heartwarming to see and hear of their technical accomplishments, leadership roles and activities wherever I go.”

Snoeyink served on the Environmental Engineering and Science (EES) faculty of CEE at Illinois from 1969 until 2005, when he retired. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in water chemistry and water quality control, as well as a course he helped develop in cultural awareness and speech enhancement for advanced doctoral students. From 1985-1999 he was coordinator of the EES program. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering (1964), M.S. in sanitary engineering (1966), and Ph.D. in water resources engineering (1968), all from the University of Michigan.

Snoeyink is a co-author with David Jenkins of the book Water Chemistry (John Wiley, 1980). His many honors include membership in the National Academy of Engineering, the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Distinguished Lectureship award, the Research Award from the American Water Works Association, the Warren A. Hall Medal from the University Council on Water Resources, the Samuel Arnold Greeley Award and the Simon Freese Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Thomas Feng Distinguished Lectureship from the University of Massachusetts, and the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois.

As an industry leader, Greeley and Hansen develops sustainable engineering solutions for water, wastewater, and water reuse challenges that are designed to create better urban environments. Founded and headquartered in Chicago since 1914, the firm now  serves clients from 21 offices worldwide. CEE alumnus Andy Richardson (BS 78), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Greeley and Hansen, said the gift to sponsor the Snoeyink lab is in keeping with the work, commitment, and spirit of the company from its earliest history.

“Our founder, Samuel A. Greeley, was a true pioneer in advancing water and sanitation practices in the early 1900s,” Richardson said. “The work done by Greeley and his colleagues at that time had a tremendous impact on the growth of U.S. cities by improving public health and safety. Professor Emeritus Snoeyink has carried on that same pioneering spirit today in our industry through his impressive research work in water chemistry and as a respected and influential instructor in CEE at Illinois for many years. We’re very pleased to recognize and honor his important contributions to the water industry through our gift to support the construction of this new state-of-the-art instructional lab facility in his name. We believe our partnership with CEE at Illinois supports our strong commitment to advance STEM education and will have a profound and lasting impact in preparing future generations of engineering leaders in the water resources field.”

Having spent his entire career at Illinois, Snoeyink has nothing but praise for the generations of students he taught, many of whom contributed to the naming of the lab that will honor him.

“When I look at the contributions and achievements of those who have graduated, whether they have stayed in our profession or have built on their U of I education and developed their careers in other fields, I think we must have done something right in our program,” he said.

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