Skip to main content

In Memoriam: Robert (Bob) Borden

Robert (Bob) Borden, a CCEE emeritus professor, passed away on Nov. 2, 2023, at the age of 67. Borden earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Rice University. He joined NC State as an assistant professor in 1986 and rose to the rank of professor before retiring in 2013.

During his 27 years at NC State, he taught courses in hydraulics, hydrology and groundwater contaminant transport, as well as senior design courses in water resources and environmental engineering. He served as primary advisor and mentor to 51 master’s and 14 doctoral students. The primary focus of his research was on the fate, transport, and remediation of organic and inorganic pollutants in the subsurface. This included laboratory studies to better understand the governing chemical and biological processes, fieldwork to document these processes under in-situ conditions, and model development to mathematically describe the interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes on the natural and enhanced degradation of a wide variety of pollutants.

Results of Borden’s work have been shared with the scientific and professional community through journal articles, book chapters, and symposium proceedings, as well as hundreds of conference presentations, short courses, and webinars. To accelerate the transfer of current research to the user community, he founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief. Borden received multiple awards for his research and extension activities including the 2013 NC State Alumni Association Outstanding Extension and Outreach Award and the 2012 Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions toward the science and practice of subsurface remediation. The technologies that Borden developed have cleaned up thousands of contaminated hazardous waste sites around the world and continue to be the foremost technologies for groundwater remediation.