Air quality, health policy researcher receives alumni award

Ted-RussellPULLMAN, Wash. – Armistead (Ted) G. Russell, an engineering researcher and professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, was honored Thursday, Nov. 5, with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award for his work in air quality science tied to health, public policy and sustainable development.

His research has increased understanding of trace contaminants in the air, computational modeling, air quality engineering and health. His particular contributions are based on his ability to integrate these areas and provide information that is used in managing air quality and developing national public policy.

Ted Russell, right, receives award with Candis Claiborn, dean of the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, and nominator Roger McClellan. (Photo by Dean Hare, WSU Photo Services)

Russell earned his bachelor’s of science degree from WSU in 1979 and was named an Outstanding Senior in Mechanical Engineering. He rowed lightweight crew, was active in the student mechanical engineers chapter and was a member of the engineering honor society.

He regularly networks with WSU faculty and students interested in air quality and has returned to the university to present seminars. He and his wife regularly provide financial support to the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Russell’s work modeling air pollution particulates, nitrogen oxides and ozone, and the impacts of alternative fuel use on the atmosphere has had significant societal impact. His analyses of air contaminants and health is a foundation for a modeling system recently adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Promoting the use of research in developing public policy, he has served on the National Research Council Board of Environmental Studies and Toxicology and nine of its committees. He was one of seven members of the chartered U.S. EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and served on the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer committee dealing with air pollution.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a Smithsonian Scientific Computation Award national finalist and has earned numerous honors over 30 years as a researcher, educator, advisor and journal reviewer and editor.

At GT, he is a Regents professor and holds the Howard T. Tellepsen Chair in civil and environmental engineering. He is co-director of the Southeastern Center for Air Pollution Epidemiology and director of the Air Resources Engineering Center. He previously worked at Carnegie Mellon University and the California Institute of Technology.

Russell speaks with local civic and church groups about air quality and climate issues and recently offered workshops in India about including sustainable development topics in university engineering curricula.

He earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Caltech.

The WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the WSUAA Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and made contributions to their professions and communities. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. Of an estimated 250,000 students who have attended WSU, Russell is the 522nd Alumni Achievement Award recipient.


Christina Parrish, WSU alumni engagement, 509-335-6907,