CAEE Department Remembers Wesley O. Pipes
May 21, 2013 — Wesley O Pipes, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, passed away on May 20 2013. Wes had a long and productive history in research and teaching in civil and environmental engineering.
He was born January 28 1932 in Dallas Texas. He received BS and MS degrees in Biology from North Texas State University, and received his PhD degree in Sanitary Engineering at Northwestern University under Harold Gotaas, who was then Dean of the Technological Institute at Northwestern.
After receiving his PhD in 1959, Wes joined Northwestern University where he remained until 1974, holding dual appointments in both the Civil Engineering and Biology departments. In 1975, he joined Drexel University as the inaugural LD Betz Professor of Ecology.
In 1983, he transferred into the College of Engineering, and served as Head of the Department of Civil Engineering from 1983 until 1987. After stepping down from the headship, Wes remained an active faculty member of the department, and retired in 1998. He was also active in the Environmental Studies Institute (where he served for a time as Associate Director), and participated in numerous Drexel committees. Wes was President of the Drexel chapter of Sigma Xi from 1981-1982.
Wes Pipes was active in a number of national and international societies, including the American Water Works Association, the Water Environment Federation, the American Society of Microbiology, the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors (serving as President in 1975), the International Water Association, the International Environmetrics Society (of which he was a founding member) and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Wes’ scholarly work was broadly in the area of microbiological understanding of water and wastewater treatment systems. His early work focused on biological disturbances in common wastewater treatment systems and on the use of algae for treatment of wastes. His work at Drexel focused on understanding the distribution of bacteria in drinking water systems, and played an important part in revisions of the US drinking water regulations. Wes authored over 125 papers and major reports on these topics.
He received awards for his work from the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors, the Pennsylvania Water Pollution Control Association.
Wes is survived by his wife, Jane, four children, and his many “academic children”. Services will be held at the 1st Baptist Church of Haddonfield NJ, Friday May 24 at 11am.
An event in Wes’ memory will be held at Drexel at a future date.