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Interview with ACOPNE President-Elect Paul Boulos
Ph.D., NAE, Hon.D.WRE, Dist.D.NE, Dist.M.ASCE
Dr. Paul F. Boulos, Ph.D., NAE, Hon.D.WRE, Dist.D.NE, Dist.M.ASCE is a highly dynamic engineering and technology business leader and philanthropist. He served as President and Director of MWH Global (until its sales to Stantec in 2016), one of the world’s leading environmental engineering and construction firms, with more than 7,000 employees in 35 countries and annual revenues of $1.6 billion. The company has long been considered one of the world’s top three experts on power, water and wastewater issues. He also founded and served as Chairman, President and CEO of Innovyze, the world’s leading provider of wet infrastructure management technology (nearly twice the size of its largest competitor), and led its ownership transition and sales to a private equity firm in May 2017.
Professionally, Dr. Boulos is one of the world’s foremost experts on water resources and navigation engineering and the author of ten authoritative books and over 200 technical articles on issues critical to the water and wastewater industry. He has received numerous honors and awards, including notable technical awards for excellence in scholarship from the American Water Works Association, the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); ASCE Parcel‐Sverdrup Civil Engineering Management Award; ASCE Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award and Lecture; University of Kentucky Hall of Distinction; Lebanese American University Distinguished Alumni Award; Ray R. Irani Pride of Heritage Award from the Lebanese American Foundation; and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, one of America´s highest accolades, among many others.
He was awarded Honorary Diplomate status by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE) and Distinguished Diplomate status by the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port & Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE), the top honors for both Academies. He was also elected to the grade of Distinguished Member of ASCE, the Society’s highest honor; to the European Academy of Sciences and Arts; and to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer.
Paul giving his ASCE Distinguished Member acceptance speech during the Distinguished Member Ceremony at the ASCE Annual Convention in New York, NY, October 2015. Photo by David Hathcox.
Dr. Boulos has been committed to the welfare of young people. Among his many involvements, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board of International Advisors of the Lebanese American University. He currently serves on many educational organization boards including the Board of Directors of America‐Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc./AMIDEAST, the Rene Moawad Foundation, and A Precious Child.
A passionate voice for the next generation of engineers, Dr. Boulos serves on the Advisory Board for NAE’s Center of Engineering, Ethics and Society; the ASCE’s Industry Leaders Council; the Board of Directors of the American Society for Engineering Education Corporate Member Council; and the Board of Trustees of AAWRE and ACOPNE; and the Advisory Boards of the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space at Columbia University (NY) and the Environmental Engineering Science Program at Washington University in St. Louis (MO).
He has been a member of advisory boards and councils for many organizations including the Corporate Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (PA); the Buck Advisory Council of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging (CA); the Dean’s International Council of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago (IL); the USEPA Science Advisory Board; and the External Advisory Board of Civil Engineering Department at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon). Paul has written ten authoritative textbooks and more than 200 technical articles on issues critical to the water and wastewater industry. Dr. Boulos has a bachelor degree in general science from the Lebanese American University, as well as bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky, and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. He resides in Colorado with his wife, Katya.
In this feature, Paul shares on his life and career path, his love of civil engineering, life lessons learned, perspectives on leadership, and his advice for aspiring civil engineers.