April 2011


Dick Lanyon, P.E., DEE, D.WRE, F.ASCE, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) retired on December 31, after nearly 50 years in the engineering profession. Dick's career at the MWRD spanned nearly 48 years. Dick Lanyon's career has spanned the issues of water resources engineering within the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (previously the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago). Dick has worked in many technical arenas including: waterway operations, industrial pollution enforcement, flood control, stormwater management, environmental regulation and research and development. His longest tenure has been his 30+ years in research and development during the times of rapid changes in both regulation and technology. He has led the district as they negotiated standards with state and federal regulatory agencies.

Dick has been involved in water quality planning for the northeastern Illinois region, dealt with combined sewer overflow issues, industrial pollution, chemical safety, water quality assessments, discharge qualities and regulations, pretreatment and use attainability for Chicago area streams. Dick has been a very active professional organization leader with numerous roles over decades of involvement and a host of leadership roles in ASCE, Illinois Section, Hydraulics Division, Environmental Engineering Division, various task forces and Urban Water Resources Research Council.

Among some of the notable recognitions that Dick has received in his career are receiving the Superior Public Service Award by City of Chicago, ASCE Illinois Section Government Civil Engineer of Year, American Society of Civil Engineers Zone III and Best Overall Government Civil Engineer of the Year, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus Award from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In May 2011 he received the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) Edward J. Cleary Award for superior administrative and technical skills and public service in the conduct of environmental protection programs. He also received the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Distinguished Service Award for his dedication to the MWRD and to the clean water industry through his involvement in NACWA as an active member of the NACWA Board of Directors, standing committees, numerous initiatives and as the Chair of the National Biosolids Partnership.

Dick earned his Bachelor and Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. He has been an AAWRE Diplomate since fall of 2006, an active member of the Water Environmental Federation and is also a Diplomate, Environmental Engineer of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.