Carol and Gordon (MS ʼ71, PhD ʼ75) Treweek have established an early-career professorship at Caltech that will help deepen our knowledge of Earth's environment, especially how it is affected by climate change.
Gordon Treweek (MS ʼ71, PhD ʼ75) helped tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of his generation. As an engineer and executive with James Montgomery Engineers and Tetra Tech, he spearheaded efforts to clean up hazardous waste sites and remove lead from drinking water.
Today, environmental scientists and engineers are investigating the planet's past, present, and future in more depth than ever before, and offering insights on how to confront and adapt to climate change. Treweek believes Caltech can be a powerful force for progress in the global race to solve this crisis.
"Nations have set ambitious goals to curb climate change by 2030," he says. "But how do we get there? Caltech uses science to make informed predictions and create new solutions, regardless of politics or popular opinion."
To spur research in this area, Treweek and his wife, Carol, have donated $2.5 million to endow a professorship for early-career environmental scientists at Caltech. More than an honor, the named professorship includes flexible funds that the Institute's newest faculty members can use to fast-track their most promising ideas.
Smruthi Karthikeyan, who joined the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) in January as an assistant professor, is the inaugural Treweek Scholar. Karthikeyan studies "microbial dark matter," the 99 percent of microbes that cannot be cultured in the lab and largely remain a mystery to the scientific community. By using computational methods and conducting in situ experiments, Karthikeyan aims to learn more about these microbes, their genetic material, and their interactions and effects on both the environment and the human biome. [Read the full news story]