Nickolas J. Themelis, director of the Columbia University Earth Engineering Center and Stanley-Thompson Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering (Henry Krumb School of Mines), recently received the Environmental Conservation Distinguished Service Award from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). He was honored at the organization's March 16 annual meeting in Charlotte , N.C. , for his outstanding contributions to the research and development of environmental conservation technologies and in recognition of his distinguished career as an educator.
The award specifically recognizes Themelis' work in developing novel copper smelting and refining processes used worldwide to reduce sulfur emissions and energy consumption. Themelis, who came to Columbia in 1980, is a founder of the Earth Engineering Center, a unit of the Earth Institute created in 1996. The center's mission is to create technologies that can help in the sustainable development of the Earth's resources: minerals, energy, water and the environment. Themelis previously served as chairman of the Henry Krumb School of Mines and was the first chairman of Columbia's Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering.