John L. Cleasby
Iowa State University
John L. Cleasby was born on March 1, 1928, in Madison, Wisconsin. He received his B.S. (1950) and M.S. (1951) in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received his Ph.D. (1960) from Iowa State University. Cleasby joined the faculty at Iowa State University as Instructor (1954-1956) in the Department of Civil Engineering. He was promoted to Assistant Professor (1956-1961), Associate Professor (1961-1965), Professor (1965-1993), and Emeritus Professor (1993-current). Cleasby was also honored as Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering (1983-1993). Cleasby's research emphasized filtration methods of water and wastewater. Filtration is the most commonly applied water treatment operation used in the production of potable water. Cleasby's research focused on granular bed and precoat filtration methods as well as treatment processes including flocculation kinetics, coagulation, lime softening, and biological waste treatment. His most widely recognized research contributions have been in the areas of declining rate filtration plants, prediction of fluidization and expansion of filter media during backwashing, evaluation of backwashing routines for different filter media and filtration applications, and effective filtration methods for small communities. Throughout his career, Cleasby was involved in government service and taught courses on water treatment internationally. Cleasby served as a member of the Iowa State Department of Health (1978-1982); he presented lectures and short courses in several Latin-American countries (1972-1996); and he prepared a Technology Transfer Booklet, "Wastewater Filtration," for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1974 and 1977). Due to his research and service to numerous scientific organizations, Cleasby has been the recipient of a variety of honors and awards. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (1983). Cleasby's publishing involvement with the American Water Works Association garnered several awards including the Abel Wolman Award of Excellence (1997) and Best Paper Awards (1970, 1992, 1995). Cleasby was also active in the American Society of Civil Engineers, receiving Rudolph Hering Medals (1968, 1970, 1983) and a Norman Medal (1980). He also received the Founders Award (1981) for sustained and outstanding contributions to environmental engineering education from the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors. John and his wife Donna have three children, Teresa, Richard, and Lynne. As of 2009, they still reside in Ames, Iowa.