Prof. Kerry Rowe has made numerous, substantial contributions to barrier systems research, education, and regulation during his 30+ year career. The US-based National Academy of Engineering agrees. A February 8 NAE announcement named Rowe among just 22 other engineers from outside the United States who have been elected members here in 2016.
It is a prestigious and well-earned achievement. He is one of only 232 engineers from outside the United States to have received this honor since the organization was established in the 1960s. (American engineers account for 2,275 of the NAE’s members.) And, Dr. Rowe is one of only two Canadians to be honored by NAE for civil engineering.
The Academy, in its statement, cited Rowe for “advances in knowledge of the performance of waste containment facilities.”
Dr. Rowe is currently Professor and Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering at Queen’s University. He has spent the lion’s share of his career at the institution and helped transform it into a globally known research facility, especially in regards to geosynthetics.
“My initial work was in landfills and the research we have done has affected regulations and the design and construction of landfills around the world,” said Dr. Rowe to the Queen’s Gazette, a publication of Queen’s. “This work, conducted by a team which includes colleagues and students past and present, has made a difference and this is what is being recognized by my election as a foreign member of NAE; it is recognition of the entire team.”
He called the NAE election “one of the biggest deals in my professional career” and ranked it alongside being named a fellow of the UK-based Royal Society.
National Academy of Engineering members represent a diverse range of engineering fields: aerospace, bioengineering, chemical, mechanical, etc.
In recent years, Rowe’s barrier systems research has swung considerably to mining engineering and how geosynthetic barrier systems perform over time and under a variety of conditions (climates, fluids to contain, exposure, etc.). The GeoEngineering Centre, a joint venture between Queen’s University and Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, pool knowledge and resources to help advance many of these research initiatives.
The National Academy of Engineering will hold an awards ceremony in Washington DC in October. Other geosynthetics field contributors who have been elected to the NAE include Dr. Robert Koerner (1998), Dr. David Daniel (2000), Dr. Rudy Bonaparte (2007), Dr. Allen Marr (2008), Dr. JP Giroud (2009), and Dr. Craig Benson (2012).
Dr. Rowe will deliver a training lecture at GeoAmericas 2016 (April 10 – 13, Miami) on “Factors Affecting the Performance of GCLs Both Alone and in Composite Liners.”