Note to Reporters: Photos Evan Vlachos and Tony Frank at ceremonies in Greece are available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu.
Colorado State University civil engineering Professor Evan Vlachos expected a little pomp and circumstance this spring when he traveled to his home country to accept an honorary doctorate of civil engineering at Greece’s largest university.
He practically got a hero’s welcome.
The nation’s top newspaper, Kathimerini, wrote a full-page profile on Vlachos, who was born and raised in Greece. And most of the regional media in and around Thessaloniki covered his ceremony at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, his talk on civil engineering in the 21st century as well as a new partnership the university has with Colorado State.
“If CSU is known and respected for its leadership on water issues, that’s entirely due to the commitment and expertise of faculty like Dr. Evan Vlachos,” said CSU President Tony Frank. “Evan has been a global ambassador for Colorado State throughout his long and distinguished CSU career, embodying the land-grant commitment of putting academic research to work for the benefit of our planet and its people. We are enormously proud of all he has achieved and grateful for his influence on the advancement of water resources at CSU.”
Frank and Aristotle University Rector Yannis Mylopoulos combined the Vlachos award ceremony with a trip to sign an International Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities. As the largest university in Greece and the Balkans, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has more than 95,000 students, including 86,000 undergraduates.
“They called CSU the biggest university in the world in expertise in water-related issues,” Vlachos said. “CSU is known all over the planet for its water research.”
The new partnership emphasizes:
• Water diplomacy involving multiple countries;
• Water resources planning and management with emphasis on new techniques and models;
• Exploration of extreme hydrologic events such as drought and floods and their consequences for water-scarce and water-stressed hydrologic regimes;
• Exchanges of graduate students and faculty; and
• Comparative drought and desertification studies involving the agricultural economies of Colorado and Greece.
Greece, like the United States, faces overpopulated urban areas with a limited water supply, but it also struggles with water agreements since it is a downstream country, Vlachos said.
Vlachos, an expert in water resources and planning management, is retired from the Department of Sociology at CSU. He currently coordinates the North American UNESCO water center, approved by the United Nations, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
CSU is a founding member of the UNESCO center, which means that the roughly 120 professors conducting water-related research at Colorado State will also help provide guidance on issues largely facing the world including hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, water planning and systems management; water policy development and governance; ecosystem sustainability; socioeconomic analysis; conflict resolution; and global change.