14,540 pts

Harlan Bengtson

Senior Writer
Contributions: 171
Member of: 2 channels
Member since:
July 06, 2009

About Me

Dr. Bengtson is a graduate of Iowa State University with B.S. and M.S. degrees and of the University of Colorado with a PhD. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri. Dr. Bengtson has spent 30 years in engineering education in teaching and administrative positions, including six years as Dean of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. His areas of expertise are environmental engineering, hydrology, engineering science and alternative energy systems. He has also done regular consulting work while holding the academic positions. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Bengtson worked for Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing as a Product Development Engineer and for E. I. duPont deNemours as a Process Development Engineer. Dr. Bengtson has authored numerous publications, presentations and technical reports.

My Awards & Certifications


B.S. in Chemical Engineering; Iowa State University; 1963

M.S. in Chemical Engineering; Iowa State University; 1965

PhD in Chemical Engineering; University of Colorado; 1970


Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri


Elected to Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society), 1962

Elected to Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemistry honor society), 1962

Elected to Phi Kappa Phi (academic honor society), 1965

My Experience

CURRENT: Founder and owner of, a site with the goal of making low cost, easy to use Excel spreadsheets available for engineering calculations.


Emeritus Professor, Civil Engineering Dept., Southern Illinois University Edwadsville, Edwardsville, IL, 6/2002 – present; Taught several civil & environmental engineering courses from 6/02 – 1/06

Professor, Civil Engineering Dept., Southern Illinois Univ. Edwadsville, Edwardsville, IL, 7/1984 – 5/2002 Taught half-time while holding administrative positions shown below (taught only one course each year as Dean of Engineering).

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering Dept., Southern Illinois University Edwadsville, Edwardsville, IL, 7/1978 – 6/1984; Taught a variety of civil & environmental engineering courses.

Assistant Professor, Engineering Science Dept., Southern Illinois University Edwadsville, Edwardsville, IL, 9/1975 – 6/1978; Taught engineering courses, including fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and solar engineering.

Assistant Professor, Engineering Science Dept., Rockhurst College, Kansas City, MO, 8/1971 – 6/1975 Taught engineering courses, including fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer & engineering drawing. (Chaired Engineering Science Department from 6/73 – 6/75.)

High School Teacher, U.S. Peace Corps., Malangali Secondary School, Tanzania, Africa 1/1966 – 12/1967 Taught mathematics and physics at a boys boarding school.


Academic Administration

Dean, School of Engineering, Southern Ill. Univ. Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 7/94 – 6/2000

Accomplishments: During tenure as dean, the School of Engineering flourished; a new program received accreditation; four existing programs were reaccredited with very good accreditation reviews; two new graduate programs and one undergraduate program were approved with new funding; funding was obtained for a new Engineering Building, the building was constructed, and the School moved in.

Acting Dean, School of Engineering, Southern Ill. Univ. Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 1/93 – 7/94

Accomplishments: When I took over, the School of Engineering was in a state of disarray, because the previous dean had been removed from office due to a vote of “no confidence" from the faculty. I restored confidence in the Office of the Dean and led the School to grow and flourish as summarized above.

Assisstant Dean, School of Engineering, Southern Ill. Univ. Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 4/88 – 1/93

Responsibilities included contact with prospective and incoming transfer undergraduate students, overseeing advisement of undergraduate students, and serving as acting Dean in his absence.

Director, Environmental Resources Training Center, Southern Ill. Univ. Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL, 10/83 – 3/88;

Responsibilities included supervision of staff, interaction with University central administration, and interaction with government agencies to maintain funding for ERTC operation. The ERTC did very well while I was Director. Enrollment in a new full-time on-campus program was increased to the point that it was self-supporting financially; two additional full-time staff members were added; one of the new staff members was assigned to a newly opened office in the Chicago area to coordinate our increased workshop offerings in that area.

Non-academic professional experience

Consultant, Geo Environmental Services, Inc., St. Louis, MO, 1992 - present

Responsibilities are primarily preparation of reports and proposals, including drawings, tables and graphs. Limited assistance with field work is included. The work is in the area of soil and groundwater contamination, primarily due to underground storage tanks.

Consultant, Gundlach Machine Co., Belleville, IL, 1989 – 1990

Conducted a troubleshooting study of a hospital incinerator.

Consultant, Webster Enterprises, Inc., Golden Eagle, IL, 1979 – 1984

Worked on development of farm-scale production of fuel alcohol.


Consultant, American Steel Foundries., Granite City, IL, 1977

Worked on water pollution control and water conservation projects.

Research Associate, Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co., Kansas City, MO, 6/1975 – 8/1975

Conducted a study on future U.S. energy supply and demand.

Product Development Engineer, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, St. Paul, MN, 1/1965 – 8/1965

Worked in Adhesives, Coating and Sealants Department. Responsibilities were to carry out coating and sealant product development projects as assigned.

Process Development Engineer, E. I. duPont deNemours, Wilmington, DE, 6/1963 – 9/1963

Worked in Plastics Department on development of a continuous polymerization process.

My Latest Articles

  • Easy to Understand Diagram of the Nitrogen Cycle

    Nitrogen can exist in 7 oxidation states, ranging from a valence of -3 to a valence of +5. An easy diagram of the nitrogen cycle shows how nitrite, nitrate, ammonia and proteins are interrelated in a simple nitrogen cycle. A more comprehensive nitrogen...
    Published on  December 1, 2014 to Environmental Science

  • Solar Energy Quiz

    Are you a solar energy expert ... or an interested novice? Take this quiz, see where you rank, and perhaps learn more about solar energy and how solar energy is being put to use for passive solar heating, photovoltaic panels, and active solar heating...
    Published on  September 13, 2011 to Renewable Energy

  • Variations in Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment Systems

    Activated sludge waste water treatment systems are the most widely used type of biological wastewater treatment for removal of biochemical oxygen demand from wastewater. All activated sludge process variations bring dissolved oxygen, aerobic bacteria...
    Published on  May 27, 2011 to Environmental Science

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