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The Abel Wolman Professorship in Water and Public Health

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 2015 in honor of Abel Wolman by the Osprey Foundation with additional funding from the Maryland E-Nnovation Program

ABEL WOLMAN, A&S 1913, Engr 1915, one of Hopkins’ first engineering graduates, became a world-renowned water treatment expert whose career in civil engineering spanned more than 70 years. From 1914 to 1939 he was an engineer for the Maryland Health Department, for several years serving as chief engineer. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1920 and, beginning in 1937, served full time in both the schools of Engineering and of Public Health. Dr. Wolman retired from teaching in 1962, but continued to work full time for more than 20 years, consulting with engineers and health organizations worldwide. Although he was the major architect of Baltimore’s water system, Dr. Wolman’s greatest interest was the environmental well-being of people in developing nations. By his late 80s, he had been to Geneva for the World Health Organization 40 times, had helped build water treatment systems in 40 countries, and had authored four books and hundreds of articles.

A member of the National Academies of Engineering and Science, Dr. Wolman was honored in 1960 with the Lasker Award for his “engineering skill and organizational genius,” which had done so much to improve the health of millions. In 1969, the university awarded him an honorary degree. Dr. Wolman, who died in 1989 at the age of 96, was named Marylander of the Century by the Baltimore Sun in 1999.

Held by Kellogg J. Schwab

KELLOGG J. SCHWAB, PhD, is the inaugural Abel Wolman Professor in Water and Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As Director of the Johns Hopkins University Water Institute, Dr. Schwab helps facilitate the water-related activities of over 100 Hopkins faculty by providing guidance and establishing networks. The goal of the Institute is to achieve sustainable, scalable solutions for domestic, agricultural, and industrial water challenges. Dr. Schwab has over 20 years of research focusing on environmental microbiology and engineering with an emphasis on the fate and transport of chemicals, emerging contaminants and pathogenic microorganisms in water, food and the environment. Current research projects involve investigating innovative water reuse treatment options as well as improving environmental detection methods for noroviruses (the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide). He is also working with Hopkins colleagues to integrate mobile data collection to assess family planning along with water, sanitation and hygiene around the world. Dr. Schwab joined the Bloomberg School in 1999. He earned both his MSPH (‘91) and PhD (‘95) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Virology at Baylor College of Medicine.