Dr. Joseph Atkinson is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Great Lakes Program at the University at Buffalo. His background is in environmental fluid mechanics and he has worked for nearly 20 years on Great Lakes issues, focusing primarily on hydrodynamic and water quality modeling. He is a registered Professional Engineer in New York State.
Dr. Atkinson has served as a faculty member in environmental and water resources engineering at UB for more than 32 years. His research interests include Great Lakes modeling (hydrodynamic, water quality), environmental fluid mechanics, ecosystem restoration, and sediment transport. He has graduated more than 70 graduate students, served as principal investigator or co-PI on more than $13 million in research funding, and authored 79 peer-reviewed publications, 32 technical reports, more than 100 conference publications, and eight book chapters.
Dr. Atkinson earned his B.S. at Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA) in 1973 in an independent program of studies, his M.Eng. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 1979, and his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) in 1985. He has had several visiting appointments at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, with support as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and as a Lady Davis Fellow, has been a guest investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth, MA, and a visiting professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He headed the Environmental Technical Working Group for the International Joint Commission Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River water level study, and served as a member of the Science Advisory Group for the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council.