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Joe S. Devinny

Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering



B.S. - 1969 - Chemistry - Caltech
M.S. - 1971 - Chemistry - Oregon
Ph.D. - 1975 - Environmental Engineering Science - Caltech

Most recently, Dr. Devinny and his research group have been performing research on biofilters. These devices clean the air by passing it through a damp porous medium that supports a vigorous culture of microorganisms. The contaminants dissolve in the water, and are degraded by the organisms. Biofilters are appropriate for low-concentration, high-volume discharges, such as odors from wastewater treatment plants and organic vapors from manufacturing. The group's work has involved construction and operation of bench-scale, pilot-scale, and full-scale biofilters.

Dr. Devinny is also associated with USC's Green Visions project, and has published several reports that can be found on the project's Web site.

Research Summary

* Environmental impact of human activity on natural
* Ecosystems
* Biofiltration for Air Polllution Control
* Biofiltration


  • 2005 Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board Annual “Excellence in Research” Water Quality Award
  • 2000 American Society of Civil Engineers Journal of Environmental Engineering Editor's Award
  • 1999 Invited Session, 1999 American Control Conference, San Diego Best paper in session
  • 1996 American Society of Civil Engineers J. James R. Croes Medal
  • 1995 School of Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award
  • 1994 National Academy of Engineering of Armenia Elected Foreign Member
  • 1993 Environmental Engineering Division, American Society of Civil Engineers Wesley W. Horner Award
  • 1977 University of Southern California Distinguished Undergraduate Teacher in Civil Engineering
  • Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Kaprielian Hall
  • 3620 South Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 2531
Contact Information
  • (213) 740-0670