Donald R. F. Harleman

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Donald Robert Fergusson Harleman (December 5, 1922 – September 28, 2005) was an American civil engineer noted for his research of the flow of contaminants through water and harbor cleanup efforts around the world. [1] [2] [3] [4] Harleman was credited with cleanup efforts of harbors around the world: Australia, Brazil, China, India, and Mexico, among others.[2] He advised government agencies on the Boston Harbor cleanup.[2] Harleman was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974 “for leadership in the development of theoretical and experimental techniques in the field of fluid mechanics”.[4] The Boston Globe called Harleman "an internationally recognized civil engineer in the field of water quality and waste treatment".[2] The New York Times said that Harleman "was regarded as a leader in fluid mechanics" and said he was "water pollution expert who aided cleanups worldwide".[1] Harleman was Ford Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1][2][5]


  • 1922: born on December in Palmerton, Pennsylvania
  • 1943: B.S. in civil engineering, Pennsylvania State University[4]
  • 1947: M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology[4]
  • 1950: Doctorate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology[4]
  • 1950: assistant professor of hydraulics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology[4]
  • 1975-1990: Ford Professor of Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology[3]
  • 1991: retired from MIT as Ford Professor emeritus[3]
  • 2005: died of cancer on September 28 on Nantucket, Massachusetts


  1. ^ a b c New York Times:Donald Harleman, Water Pollution Expert Who Aided Cleanups Worldwide, Dies at 82;By DAVID TULLER;October 14, 2005
  2. ^ a b c d e The Boston Globe:Donald Harleman; engineer, professor helped protect Venice; 82;By Gloria Negri;October 18, 2005
  3. ^ a b c MIT News:Memorial service for Donald Harleman set for Nov. 5;October 4, 2005
  4. ^ a b c d e f Bras, Rafael L.; Chagnon, Frédéric; Adams, Eric E.; Eagleson, Peter S.; Madsen, Ole; Murcott, Susan; Thatcher, Lew; Shanahan, Peter (2007). "Donald R. F. Harleman". Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering. 11. National Academy of Engineering. pp. 142–149. ISBN 978-0-309-10337-4. 
  5. ^ National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Wastewater Management for Coastal Urban Areas (1993). Managing wastewater in coastal urban areas. National Academies Press. pp. 434–435. ISBN 978-0-309-04826-2.