CCEE Hall of Fame

Jack Cleasby

International impact on environmental engineering profession, leadership in teaching excellence, and as the first ISU faculty member inducted into the National Academy of Engineering

Inducted 2021

Jack Cleasby started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in civil engineering. Cleasby came to Iowa State for his Ph.D. in civil engineering and completed it in 1960.

In 1954, Cleasby started teaching at Iowa State. He began as an assistant professor and advanced to associate professor, professor and distinguished professor emeritus. He was involved in many organizations, including the National Academy of Engineering, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Water Works Association, and the Association of Environmental Engineers and Science Professors.

Cleasby won many faculty awards for his dedication to teaching excellence. His passion for civil engineering was evident. He received the Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering Award, the Amoco Foundation Award for outstanding teaching, an Outstanding Achievement in Teaching Award from Iowa State, and the David R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Award for Research.

He became the first professor in the Iowa State University College of Engineering to be elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering. Cleasby also established the “Cleasby Environmental Graduate Fellowship.” He taught courses on water treatment internationally and presented short courses in several Latin American countries.

Cleasby is most widely recognized for his work in declining rate filtration, prediction of fluidization and expansion of filter media during backwashing, evaluation of backwashing routines for different filtration applications, and effective filtration methods for small communities. He published many texts and contributed to many chapters and presentations.