NICKOLAS J. THEMELIS

Stanley - Thompson Professor of Chemical Metallurgy, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Director, Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University
Member of National Academy of Engineering

500 West 120th St., #918 Mudd, Columbia University, New York City, N.Y. 10027
Tel: (212) 854-2138; Fax: (212) 854-8362; njt1@columbia.edu;

 

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Themelis is a graduate of McGill University in chemical and metallurgical engineering. In the first part of his career, he directed the R&D of a multi-billion U.S. corporation (Kennecott Corp.). He joined Columbia in 1980 and is past chair of the Henry Krumb School of Mines and also of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and founder and current director of Columbia’s Earth Engineering Center (www.columbia.edu/cu/earth).

In addition to his teaching at Columbia (transport and chemical rate phenomena, reactor design, industrial ecology), Dr. Themelis has been consultant to industry, government and NGOs in the areas of process design and management of technical resources. He is member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, of the New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and member of ISWA, SWANA, ASME International, Air and Waste Management Association, AEESP and other organizations.

Prof. Themelis is Chair and co-founder, with Maria Zannes of IWSA, of the Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council (www.columbia.edu/cu/wtert), an international consortium of universities, companies and other organizations concerned with materials and energy recovery from solid wastes. He is the recipient of several professional awards, author of 180 technical papers and books and inventor of about twenty patents related to high temperature processing. Current research work is on integrated waste management and the design of processes for material and energy recovery from used products. 

 

AWARDS AND TEACHING

 
Environmental Conservation Distinguished Service Award  of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) (March 2004).
ALCAN Award  (1997) for outstanding contributions to the mineral and metallurgical industries.
Best paper award (Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 2002), International Thermal Spray Society.
Two gold medals of the Metallurgical Society of the AIME for best papers published (1968, 1973); ERCO award of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (1971).
Best Paper award of the Canadian Metallurgical Society (1993).
Extractive Metallurgy Lecturer of AIME (1972),
McConnell Environmental Award of the AIME (1984)
Columbia University 1987 Kohnstamm Prize for Industrial Chemistry
1987 Lecturer of the British Institution of Mining and Metallurgy.
1993 Best Paper Award, Metallurgical Society of Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

 

In recent years, Prof. Themelis has directed his research and educational efforts towards the subject of industrial ecology as it applies to the intereffects between the provision of essential materials to humanity (minerals, fuels, water) and environmental quality. At Columbia, he led the transformation of the historic School of Mines to the new engineering discipline of Earth and Environmental Engineering (http://www.seas.columbia.edu/krumb/).

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (since 1999)

Themelis, N.J., An Overview of the global waste-to-energy industry, Waste Management World,  July-Aug. 2003, p. 40-47.

Themelis, N.J. and Shefali Verma,  Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Waste in MSW, Waste Management World, Jan.-Feb 2004, p.  20-24.

Nakamura, M, Zhang, H, Millrath, K., and Themelis, N.J., Modeling of Waste-to Energy Combustion with Continuous Variation of the Solid Waste Fuel, Proceedings, ASME International Congress, Washington, D.C. (November 2003).

Millrath, K., and N.J. Themelis, Current Trends in the Waste to Energy Industry, Proc. ASME International Congress, Washington, D.C. (November 2003).

Themelis, N.J. and C. Todd, Recycling in a Megacity, J. Air and Waste Manage. Assoc. , p. 389-395,  April 2004.

Kaufman, S.M., N. Goldstein, K. Millrath, and N.J. Themelis, The State of Garbage in America, BioCycle, January 2004, p. 31-41.

Themelis, N.J. and S.M. Kaufman, State of Garbage in America-Data and Methodology Assessment, BioCycle, April 2004, p. 22-26.

Albina, D. O. and Themelis, N. J. Emissions from Waste-to-Energy: A Comparison with Coal-fired Power Plants. 2003 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition 2003; (IMECE2003-55295).

Klein, A. and Themelis, N. J., Energy Recovery from Municipal Solid Wastes by
Gasification
, NAWTEC 11 Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL (April 2003

Klein, A., Zhang, H., and N.J. Themelis, Analysis of a Waste-To-Energy Power Plant with CO2 Sequestration, NAWTEC11 Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL (April 2003),  p. 263-270

Millrath, K. and N.J. Themelis, Waste as a Renewable Source of Energy, 2003 ASME International Congress (IMECE2003-55258).

Nakamura, M., Zhang, H., Millrath, K., and N.J. Themelis, Modeling of Waste-to-Energy Combustion with Continuous Variation of the Solid Waste Fuel, 2003 ASME International Congress 2003; (IMECE2003-55342).

Themelis, N.J., Steven Cohen, and Greg Frankel, Life After Fresh Kills: Moving Beyond New York City’s Current Waste Management Plan, Engineering and Public Affairs Joint report to Mayor M. Bloomberg, December 2001, 66 pages.

Themelis,N.J., Kim,Y.H., and Brady,M.H., Energy recovery from New York City municipal solid wastes, Waste Management & Research 20, no. 3 (2002): 223-233.

Themelis,N.J., Integrated Management of Solid Wastes for New York City, North American Waste to Energy Conference (NAWTEC 10) Proceedings, ASME International, Philadelphia, (April 2002) (2002).

Themelis,N.J.,  The environmental impacts: Assessing waste-to-energy and landfilling in the US, Waste Management World (2002): 35-41.

Themelis,N.J. and Young Hwan Kim,. Material and Energy Balances in a Large-scale Anaerobic Bioconversion Cell, Waste Management and Research (2002): 234-242.

Themelis,N.J., Analyzing data in State of Garbage in America, EPA reports, BioCycle 44, no. 1 (2003): 22-25.

Themelis,N.J. A New Resource: The Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council, North American Waste to Energy Conference (NAWTEC 11) Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL (April 2003) (2003): 241-252.

Themelis,N.J. and P.Deriziotis, Substance and perceptions of environmental impacts of dioxin emissions, North American Waste to Energy Conference (NAWTEC 11) Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL (April 2003) (2003): 225-230.

Themelis,N.J., An overview of the global waste-to-energy industry, Waste Management World (2003): 40-47.

Klein,A., Zhang H., Themelis N.J: Analysis of a Waste-To-Energy Power Plant with CO2 Sequestration,  North American Waste to Energy Conference (NAWTEC 11) Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL, 263-270 (April 2003).

Klein,A., Themelis N.J:  Energy Recovery from Municipal Solid Wastes by Gasification,   North American Waste to Energy Conference (NAWTEC 11) Proceedings, ASME International, Tampa FL, p.241-252 (April 2003).

Themelis, N.J. and Gregory, A., Mercury Emissions from High Temperature Sources in Hudson Basin, Proceedings NAWTEC 10, Solid Wastes Processing Division, ASME International, p. 205-215 (May 2002).

N.J. Themelis and A.F. Gregory, Sources and Material Balance of Mercury in the NY-NJ Harbor, New York Academy of Sciences, Nov. 2001.

T. H. Wakeman, N.J. Themelis, A basin-wide approach to dredged material management in New York/New Jersey Harbor, J. Hazardous Materials, 85, pp 1-13, 2001.

B. Dussoubs, A Vardelle, G. Mariaux,  N.J. Themelis, Modeling of plasma spraying of two powders, J.of Thermal Spray Technology, March 2001, 10, No.1, pp.105-110.

M. Vardelle, A.Vardelle,  P.Fauchais, K-I. Li,  N.J. Themelis, Controlling particle injection in plasma spraying, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, June 2001, 10, no 2, pp 267-286. (002 Best Paper Award of International Thermal Spray Society).

A. Vardelle, H. Zhang, N.J. Themelis, Modeling of in-flight oxidation and evaporation of plasma-sprayed iron articles,  Proceedings,15th International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, 9-13 July 2001, Orléans, France, vol 2, pp 311-318.

N.J. Themelis and Y.H. Kim,  Energy Recovery: An essential tool of integrated waste management, Proc. 33rd Mid-Atlantic Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Conference, Manhattan College, 2001,  p.89-103.

N.J. Themelis and H.Y. Kim, A re-usable landfill: The Aerobic bioconversion cell, Proc. 33rd Mid-Atlantic Ind. and Hazardous Wastes Conference, Manhattan College, 2001,  p. 124-129.

N.J. Themelis, Industrial Ecology and Metal Production, keynote paper, Proceedings MINPREX, 2000, AusIMM, p. 17-24, 2000.

T. Amari, N.J. Themelis and I. Wernick, Resource recovery from used rubber tires, Resources Policy 25 179-188, 1999.

H. Zhang, G. Espie, N.J.Themelis, A.M.Vardelle, Oxidation and evaporation of iron droplets in a plasma jet, Proceedings, 4th International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry, 2-6 August  1999, Prague, pp 2775-2285 (1999).