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Memorial Tributes: Volume 3 (1989)

Chapter: Edward John Cleary

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Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
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Page 74
Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page 75
Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page 76
Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page 77
Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page 78
Suggested Citation:"Edward John Cleary." National Academy of Engineering. 1989. Memorial Tributes: Volume 3. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1384.
×
Page 79

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E D W A R D J O H N C L E A R Y 1906-1984 BY ALEXANDER H. FLAX EDWARD JOHN CLEARY formerly one of the major spokes- men on water pollution control practices in the Uniter! States and the creator of the ORSANCO Robot Monitor System, a set of devices that maintains cIay-ancI-night river quality vig- ilance, diect on March 3i, i984. A dedicated and pleasant man, Ed Cleary was instrumental in blazing new trails in the water pollution control arena and cleveloping innovations that have been approved and implemented on an interna- tional basis. Born in Newark, New Jersey, on June ~6,~906, Ed Cleary began his education by attending public schools. He enterer! Rutgers University, where he was awarcled a four-year com- petitive-examination scholarship and a two-year graduate fellowship. He graduated in ~929 with a B.S. in general en- gineering. He continued his education at Rutgers, receiving an M.S. in sanitary engineering in i933 and a Ph.D. in civil engineering in ~ 935. During his undergraduate schooling, Cleary worker! as a fielct engineer on tunnel and power plant construction pro- jects at the Management and Engineering Corporation in Chicago (from i929 to i93~' and at Parker and Graham, Inc., in New York City (from ~93i to ~932~. While attending graduate school, Cleary worked as a research assistant at Rutgers University and then as a manager at the William J. 75

76 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES Howe Coal Company in New York City. After completing his master's degree, he became the executive editor of the Engi- neering News-Record, a weekly publication of the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company in New York. From 1937 to 1941 Ecl Cleary was also a lecturer on public works administration at New York University's College of Engineering. In 1949 Dr. Cleary was appointed executive director and chief engineer of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). In these capacities, he presided over the administration of the largest regional water pollu- tion control project ever undertaken. Eight states, in acIdi- tion to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. De- partment of the Interior, joined in this water control effort, which has succeeded in safeguarding the regional water re- sources of the Ohio River. The successful operation of the Ohio Valley program involved uniting the water supply needs of eleven million people ant] thousands of industries in constructing more than $l billion worth of waste control facilities. In addition, the Ohio Valley facilities' international acceptance introduced Cleary's work to the international arena. Dr. Cleary lectured on the commission's work in Latin America, Englancl, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Yu- goslavia. In Yugoslavia, he also conclucted a seminar for pub- lic health authorities from twenty European countries. In ad- dition, he server! as a water control consultant to the Federal Republic of Germany and worker! with the five-nation Rhine River Commission. In 1960 he was selected by the Economic Commission for Europe as a member of an international team to promote further collaboration in water pollution control. At the First International Conference on Water Pollution Research in September 1962, Dr. Cleary described a unique electronic water quality monitoring system he had (revised for the Ohio River. The Robot Monitor System is a unique combination of control crevices that monitors river quality clay and night. The system safeguards water supplies for cit-

EDWARD JOHN CLEARY 77 ies, reports water characteristics to industries, and observes conditions that may affect recreational use. In addition, it is- sues accidental discharge alerts, identifies violations of stan- clarct pollution control laws, and serves to reduce the cost of water ant! waste management. In 1963 Edward Cleary took a leave of absence from the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission to join the staff of Resources for the Future as a research associate. For fifteen months, he worked on a book that became The ORSANCO Story: Water Quality Management in the Ohio Valley Under An Interstate Compact; it was published by Resources for the Future in 1967. This book documented his work at ORSANCO and fully explained the Robot Monitor System. In 1965 Cleary was elected to the board of directors of Resources for the Future. He was the first stab member to be elected to this position anct served in this capacity until 1967. He then became an honorary director, although he re- mained both an active participant in water quality research anct a familiar face at all of the board meetings until his cleath. On December 3l, 1971, after twenty-two years of service, Ec! CIeary retired from the stab of ORSANCO, which he hacl served as executive director and chief engineer until 1967, when he relinquished his administrative duties to become a consultant to the commission. An excerpt from the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission Council minutes of September 15, 1971, reveals how Dr. Cleary's work was acknowledged at his retirement: In his long tenure, since 1949, as leader and counselor in the activities of this Commission he has touched the interests of scores of industrial leaders, administrators and public officials- local, state and national- as well as multitudes of citizens in the Ohio River Valley. In so doing he has earned acclaim and unbounded respect. After his retirement, Ect Cleary accepted a part-time ap- pointment to the faculty of the University of Cincinnati in the Department of Environmental Health.

78 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES In acictition to lecturing on the practice of environmental quality management, he served as a consultant to the Na- tional Water Commission, the International Bank for Recon- struction and Development, the White House Office on Sci- ence ant] Technology, the Miami Conservancy District, the Agency for International Development, the WorIct Health Organization in Geneva, the Atomic Energy Commission, and Bechte] Incorporated's Environmental Resources Pro- iects. The quality of Edwarc! Cleary's work has been recognized through the many honors bestowed upon him. He was elected to membership in Sigma Xi anct Tau Beta Pi. He re- ceivec3 the Hemispheric Award of the Inter-American Asso- ciation of Sanitary Engineering (1954), the Emerson Award of the Water Pollution Control Federation (1963), the Man- of-the-Year Award of the American Public Works Associa- tion (1962), two separate Resource Division Awards of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) (1963, 1971), the LaDue Citation of the Ohio State Section of AWWA (1965), and an honorary doctorate of engineering from Rose-HilIman Institute of Technology (19721. Cleary was also inducted into prestigious societies. He was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1967; he was a ctiplomate in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers; anti he was a member of the American Water Resources Association. He served as presi- ent of the American Public Works Association and vice- presiclent of the Public Works Historical Society. His honor- ary memberships incluclec! the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, the Water Pollution Control Federation, the British Institute of Sewage Purification, and the Engineering Society of Cincin- nat~. At the time of Eclwarct Cleary's retirement in 1971, a col- league at the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission statecl:

EDWARD JOHN CLEARY 79 We are mindful of the fact the Dr. Cleary has been the recipient of many awards and praiseworthy messages from scientific organizations, civic and industrial leaders and, especially, from his fellow engineers. We believe, however, that the richest rewards and highest praises due him reside in the silent gratitude in the hearts of the many people whose well-being has been heightened, in part at least, as a result of his monumental efforts in connection with the noble task of improving and preserving the God-given supply of water upon which life de- pends.

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