Prof. Themelis obtained his B. Eng. and Ph.D. degrees from McGill University (Montreal, Canada). In the first part of his career he developed metallurgical processes for the extraction and refining of copper and other metals, including the Noranda Process that did away with the emission of sulphur to the atmosphere. Later, he was Vice President, Technology of Kennecott Corporation, the largest copper company in the world at that time. At Columbia University, he has been Chair of the School of Mines and, later, first Chair of the new Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. He is founder of Columbia’s Earth Engineering Center and of the Global WTERT Council (GWC; www.wtert.org) with sister organizations in fourteen nations, including China and India. Over the years, Prof. Themelis has acted as senior consultant to industry and government. He is member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.