The story recorded here began with a timeline prepared by Professor Rod Keif outlining some of the important events in the formation of the Environmental Engineering Department at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. He expanded the timeline and added some comments in a 5-page History of Environmental Engineering at Cal Poly in 1998 (1).

Rod Keif was a key player in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Department that eventually became the Environmental Engineering Department. He prepared his students to be leaders in the industry, received the Distinguished Teachers Award in 1967, and was chairman of the Academic Senate in 1969. My association with Rod goes back to when he came to the University of Oklahoma to interview me after I had applied for a job at Cal Poly.

I expanded his timeline into a slide show, and remarks for the 40th Environmental Engineering [ENVE] Anniversary Dinner at Cal Poly-May 23, 2009. In preparation for the 50th Anniversary of when the Environmental Engineering Department was established, I decided to combine, expand and update these remarks. I hope the reader will understand this was originally written as a personal account and left unchanged.

I realize there were Cal Poly instructional staff working in the programs covered by the story whose names I did not record or know. It would have been interesting to include the names and story of each of our students as well but I will leave that task to the Alumni Office.

I want to acknowledge the assistance of the Cal Poly Archives at Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library in finding pictures of some of the key players. In addition, thanks to proof readers Judy Cota, Cindy and Jesse Magliari, Ron and Jean Cota, Tim O’Conner, Doug Wolf and Sam Vigil who improved the story. The logo on the cover was created by Doug Wolf.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/327