Elected in 1976
“For leadership in environmental engineering, specifically in pollution control of air and water.”
BY RICHARD A. CONWAY AND LOUIS J. LING
JOSEPH T. LING, a visionary pioneer of pollution prevention and an advocate of sustainable development and growth, died on February 22, 2006, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the age of 86. During his 32-year career in engineering, he had a profound influence worldwide on the direction of environmental policy, philosophy, and industrial environmental practices, as well as on government regulation and legislation.
Joe retired in 1984 as vice president, Environmental Engineering and Pollution Control, 3M Company, but continued for another two decades as an advisor and a supporter of myriad academic, industrial, regulatory, and legislative organizations. He was known around the world for his foresight, innovative approaches, and effective implementation of advanced environmental technologies and policies.
Joe was born June 10, 1919, in Beijing, China, into a family with a tradition of public service. At the age of 18, Joe found himself head of the family in Nanking, after his father died and his older brother accompanied the government to Chungking. The Lings survived the bombing and brutal Nanking massacre in November 1937 by hiding in the countryside. Two years later, American Methodist missionaries, Marie Brethorst and Albert Stewart, helped Joe attend Hangchow Christian University in the international sector of Shanghai.