BY PERRY L. MCCARTY
ROLF ELIASSEN, Silas H. Palmer Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Stanford University and founder of Stanford's environmental engineering program, died in Palo Alto, California, on Friday, March 14, 1997.
Rolf was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 22, 1911. He earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1932, a master's degree in 1933, and a doctor of science degree in sanitary engineering in 1935, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After graduating in the depths of the Great Depression, he held a variety of positions such as design engineer with J.N. Chester Engineers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and sanitary engineer with Dorr-Oliver, Inc., Stamford, Connecticut. He began his teaching career in 1939 as assistant professor of civil engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (in Chicago), and then in 1940, he moved to New York University as associate professor of sanitary engineering.
Rolf married the former Mary Hulick of Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1941. Shortly thereafter, World War II erupted, and he left university life for four years to serve as a major in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, supervising sanitary engineering facilities at army installations in the United States. Returning to New York University after the war as professor of sanitary engineering, he directed his research toward finding safer ways to dispose of the enormous quantities of solid wastes generated in