Dr. Themelis is a graduate of McGill University in chemical and metallurgical engineering. In the first part of his career, he directed the R&D of a multi-billion U.S. corporation (Kennecott Corp.). He joined Columbia in 1980 and is past chair of the Henry Krumb School of Mines and also of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and founder and current director of Columbia’s Earth Engineering Center.
In addition to his teaching at Columbia (transport and chemical rate phenomena, reactor design, industrial ecology), Dr. Themelis has been consultant to industry, government and NGOs in the areas of process design and management of technical resources. He is member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, of the New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and member of ISWA, SWANA, ASME International, Air and Waste Management Association, AEESP and other organizations.
Prof. Themelis is Chair and co-founder, with Maria Zannes of IWSA, of the Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council (www.columbia.edu/cu/wtert), an international consortium of universities, companies and other organizations concerned with materials and energy recovery from solid wastes. He is the recipient of several professional awards, author of 180 technical papers and books and inventor of about twenty patents related to high temperature processing. Current research work is on integrated waste management and the design of processes for material and energy recovery from used products.