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Ernest Tsivoglou

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ERNEST C. TSIVOGLOU Loving, loyal father, faithful husband, renowned scientist and teacher, Dr. Ernest C. Tsivoglou of Atlanta passed away Monday, at age 85; at Emory Hospital following a heart attack early last week. Born in 1922 in New Hampshire, Dr. Tsivoglou grew up in New York City during the Depression. Following graduation from Manhattan College he enlisted to serve in the US Army Corps of Engineers in January 1944. Arriving at Bombay, India in June 1944 after a two-month voyage from Long Beach, he was attached to the 30th Station Hospital CBI Theater as Water Supply Engineer and later was Chief Warehouseman at the East India Medical Depot in Calcutta. Upon his Honorable Discharge in 1946, he attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Master's degree in Sanitary Engineering; more importantly, that is where he met and married his wife of 59 years, Julaine. He then accepted a commission as Sanitary Engineer in the US Public Health Service at the Taft Center in Cincinnati. Shortly after his arrival there, he was offered an opportunity to attend Ohio State University where he obtained a doctorate in Nuclear Physics. He thus became one of the nation's first radiological safety specialists independent of the Navy's Admiral Hyman Rickover and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. His doctoral research on ventilation of radon gas from uranium mines in the desert southwest remains one of the foremost advances in improved working conditions for uranium mine workers worldwide. Once back at the Taft Center in Cincinnati, he quickly rose to become Director of Technical Services and Research. There, from the early 1950s until his retirement in 1966, he and his staff were instrumental in development of many of the standards and methods that formed the basis of the nation's first water pollution control regulations. Beginning with the stream studies needed to clean up pollution of rivers by uranium mills, the research work of Dr. Tsivoglou and the Taft Center in natural river self-purification processes forms the practical basis upon which the health of rivers and lakes in the U.S and elsewhere is measured, assessed, and improved. Leaving the PHS in 1966, Dr. Tsivoglou accepted a professorship to teach sanitary engineering and river self-purification processes at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he remained until 1974. He is remembered by his students and colleagues in Georgia for his technical clarity, professionalism and great integrity, and his pragmatic wisdom and counsel. For the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County, and the State of Georgia, he and his teams of graduate students performed the first stream self-purification studies of the Chattahoochee River through the metro Atlanta area. Those studies determined and set the limits to which the metro cities, counties and industries could discharge treated wastewaters to the Chattahoochee and South Rivers during drought conditions such as exist today. He continued to practice as a consulting engineer until his retirement in the early 1980s. His recreational interests included trout fishing, woodworking and the American Southwest, particularly the books of Tony Hillerman. Dr. Tsivoglou is survived by his wife Julaine, children Stephanie, Peter and Andrew, and grandchildren Laura, Charlotte, Alison and Andrew. The last surviving member of his family, he was preceded in death by his father, Constantine Jordan Tsivoglou of Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, his mother Lucinda Stearns Tsivoglou of Boston, his sister Helena Spencer of Asheville, North Carolina and brother Jordan Constantine Tsivoglou of Newport News, Virginia. Funeral services will be held on Saturday October 27th at 11am at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur. Interment will be in the Georgia National Cemetery in Forsyth County on Monday October 29th at 11am. Donations, in lieu of flowers, to the Diabetes Foundation would be very much appreciated.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Oct. 25, 2007
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