Professor Nickolas J. Themelis, Director, Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University; Stanley-Thompson Professor Emeritus, Earth and Environmental Engineering (Henry Krumb School of Mines); Chair Global WTERT Council
Dr. Themelis obtained his B. Eng. (British Association Medal for Great Distinction) and Ph.D. degrees from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) in chemical engineering. In the first 10 years of his career, he was director of the Engineering Division of the Noranda Research Center in Pointe Claire, where he invented and helped develop the Noranda process for the continuous smelting and converting
of copper concentrates and recycled copper and the recovery of sulphur dioxide as sulphuric acid. Since its inception, the Noranda
process has reduced sulphur emissions from copper smelting to the atmosphere by millions of tons.
In 1972–1980, Prof. Themelis was vice president of Technology of Kennecott Corp., the major non-ferrous company at that time. He was appointed as professor by Columbia University (New York City, U.S.A.) in 1980 and was elected to Stanley-Thompson Chair of Chemical Metallurgy in 1988. He was chairman of the Henry Krumb School of Mines and founded Columbia's Earth Engineering Center in 1996. In 1995, he introduced at Columbia University the teaching of industrial ecology to engineers and in 1997 led the transformation of the historic School of Mines to the new engineering discipline of Earth and Environmental Engineering and was first chairman of the new Department. Prof. Themelis is founder and Chairman of the Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT), an international consortium of universities, companies and governmental organizations concerned with the recovery of materials and energy from industrial and municipal wastes by means of recycling, anaerobic digestion, composting, waste-to-energy and landfill gas capture and utilization.