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Professor Poul Harremoës died
Posted by Jeroen on Saturday, November 29 2003 @ 22:19:10 CET
News and announcements Professor Poul Harremoës (1934-2003) died Wednesday 26 November 2003 after a few days illness. Poul was Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Technical University of Denmark. Read also the text on the homepage of Environment & Resources DTU.

Poul was the driving force behind the International Symposium: Uncertainty and Precaution in Environmental Management, to be held in Copenhagen, June 7-9, 2004. He played a key role in the report "Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000". In 2000 Poul was awarded the Heineken prize for Environmental Sciences for his contributions to the theory of biofilm kinetics in relation to biological waste water treatment and for his successful organisation of the international scientific community in water pollution research and control.

Poul was a very inspiring personality with the ability to bring people with diverging views together to synthese their ideas and find a common ground. A recent example was his role in the coming about of the paper W.E. Walker, P. Harremoës, J. Rotmans, J. P. van der Sluijs, M.B.A. van Asselt, P. Janssen, and M.P. Krayer von Krauss, Defining Uncertainty A Conceptual Basis for Uncertainty Management in Model-Based Decision Support, Integrated Assessment, Vol.4 No.1 (2003), pp. 5-17.

His dead is a great loss for his wife, family, and friends, his department and for the scientific community in the field of uncertainty and precaution and many other fields to which he contributed. We will all miss him and will do what we can to cary on the important work he initiated.


Until his dead, Poul Harremoës was Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Technical University of Denmark.

Prof. Poul Harremoës was born in 1934. He graduated from The Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1957 and from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, in 1959. Both degrees are in Soil Mechanics on which he taught until 1967 and on which subject he published a Danish textbook, which is still in use, now in its fifth edition. But quickly the emphasis changed via water resources to water pollution, in which field he started as head of the Department of Tracer Studies at The Danish Isotope Centre in 1963, among the first to develop methods using radioactive tracers for tracing pollution, dominantly in the sea. Studied as visiting fellow at University of California, Berkeley, USA, from 1967 to 68. In 1969 he took over as head the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark and became full professor in 1972. Since then the department has grown to be one of the largest departments (presently 80 employees) of the civil engineering faculty of the Technical University.

The dominating research fields have been: Oxygen depletion in rivers, nitrification-denitrification and biofilm kinetics applied to wastewater treatment, the hydraulics of urban storm drainage and related pollution problems plus environmental management. International publications are 362 (as of April 2000) in number, including contributions to four textbooks on "Soil Mechanics", "Theoretical Water Hygiene", "Water Pollution" (from 1998 available in English on the internet) and "Wastewater Treatment" (in 1998 translated into English, Chinese and Polish) together with other professors at the Department.

Prof. Harremoës was a key figure in the government committees that reshaped the Danish legislation on the environment in the early 70's. He was chairman of the Section on Environment of The Society of Danish Engineers in the years 1974-77. Chairman of The Water Pollution Control Committee, The Society of Danish Engineers, from 1973 to 1983 and again 1993-95. In 1976 the distinguished foreign lecturer of The Association of Environmental Engineering Professors in USA. In 1978 appointed knight by The Royal Danish Court. Past chairman of the Danish National Committee under the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade. Past president and honorary member of the International Association for Water Quality (IAWQ), now The International Water Association (IWA). Chairman for nine years of the board of The Water Quality Institute, research institute affiliated to The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences. Founder, chairman of the board and director of consulting company "PH-Consult ApS". Member of the Danish and the Swedish Academy of Technical Sciences, The European Academy of Science and Art and Honorary member of The Greek Ariston Academy. The Stockholm Water Prize 1992 laureate (150.000 USD) on behalf of the department. Since 1994 member of the Scientific Committee of The European Environmental Agency and honorary member; since 2002 honorary member. Received "The Heineken Prize 2000" (150.000 USD) from "The Netherlands Academy for Science and Art" for achievements in environmental science. Chairman of the editorial committee of the report: "Late lessons for early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000", EEA environmental issues report no. 22, 2001.

Prof. Harremoës was the initiator, organiser or member of the scientific committee of numerous international conferences.

(source: Curriculum Vitae of prof. Poul Harremoës Last up-dated: 07-07-2002, from the DTU Homepage)



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