Elected in 1993
“For advancing the theory of anaerobic treatment processes and applications to solid waste management.”
BY RICHARD A. CONWAY
FREDERICK GEORGE POHLAND was born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, on May 3, 1931. The middle child of five, he had a rather strict Lutheran upbringing and spent summers on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His family later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he attended his final year of high school. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from Valparaiso University (1953) and, after working as an engineer driving spikes with the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Company (one of many jobs that helped pay for his education), he completed service with the U.S. Army and then earned an M.S. (1958) and Ph.D. (1961) in environmental engineering at Purdue University. He was awarded the prestigious Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in 1964 for his excellent dissertation and research.
After working his way though college, and assisting his younger brother through the same institutions, Fred demonstrated his discipline and responsibility, which was reflected in all of his later endeavors. He received an Sc.D. (honoris causa) from Valparaiso University in 1996 for “excellence in service to the human family” as an engineer, student, explorer, teacher, professor, and writer interested in “the ways in which humans use and misuse that most vital of all elements—water.”