1996 › James Symons
18th Farfel Recipient
Department of Civil and Environmental
Cullen Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, Faculty Emeritus
Cullen College of Engineering
After receiving his degree in sanitary
engineering from MIT, Professor James Symons participated in a pioneering
study for the National Institutes of Health on the activated sludge
process. This study laid the groundwork for the prevention of pollution
in numerous waterways in the 1970s. Professor Symons taught at MIT
for five years, then joined the federal government to lead many
research efforts for providing safe drinking water for America.
Professor Symons joined the University
of Houston in 1982 after a distinguished 20-year career with the
federal government, during which he was given the Environmental
Protection Agencys Distinguished Career Award. He has been
recognized frequently for his service at the university. In 1995,
Professor Symons was named Cullen Distinguished Professor of Civil
Engineering and honored as the Abraham E. Dukler Outstanding Faculty
Member. He earned an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Cullen College
of Engineering in 1994 and 1996, and was given the Senior Faculty
Research Award from the Cullen College of Engineering in 1994.
Professor Symons retired from the University
of Houston in 1997. The previous year he received the Farfel Award.
In my career at the University of Houston, I always tried
to balance my research, teaching, and service, explains Professor
Symons. Receiving the Farfel Award was most gratifying, as
it validated my approach to university life.