Morgan State University Chair Emeritus
Dr. Donald C. Helm
Dr. Donald C. Helm, Morgan State’s Massie Chair, received his A.B. (cum laude) from Amherst College, his M.Div. from the Hartford Seminary, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Helm has worked as a research hydrologist in the Water Resources Division of the US Geological Survey, for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he served as Group Leader of the Geohydrology and Environmental Studies Group, and as Principal Research Scientist (in groundwater mechanics) in the Division of Geomechanics of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia's premier research institution. More recently, Dr. Helm was a professor of geology at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also served as Chief of the Las Vegas Office of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, which functions as the Nevada State Geological Survey. His areas of research include mathematics, physics, geophysics, hydrology, geology and engineering (soil mechanics, rock mechanics, and groundwater hydraulics). These interests have taken him to India, Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela, as well as throughout the western U.S.A. Dr. Helm is recognized internationally as a leading authority in theoretical aquifer mechanics and in code development for predicting three-dimensional transient land subsidence caused by subsurface fluid withdrawal.
Dr. Helm is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and of The Institution of Engineers, Australia (College of Civil Engineers). He has received a number of honors including the outstanding educator of the year award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Maryland Section, best research publication of the year award from the Association of Engineering Geologists, twice nominated for the Horton Award by the Groundwater Committee of the America Geophysical Union.
A Discussion with Dr. Helm on Program Goals
"We are mindful of the challenges related to environmental cleanup in the Massie Chair Program at Morgan State University. We place special emphasis on approaching environmental problems in a practical, task-oriented way, with a view on prevention. There is a strong interest in urban environmental matters, environmental justice, and history studies as they relate to local environmental impacts. Our environmental research at Morgan State University includes aquifer mechanics, contaminant transport, geo-engineering, hydrogeology, site characterization, bioremediation, soil remediation, surface water and ground water hydrology, environmental engineering, low-emission/high-efficiency combustion energy systems, risk assessment, land subsidence, earthquake engineering, the generation of porosity heterogeneities within the vadose zone, modeling and simulation using high-performance computers, and more. One of the desired outcomes is to have sustainable research and teaching activities within the area of environmental studies that are capable of attracting and supporting quality graduate students within the fledgling graduate program of the engineering school. Both conducting word-class research and sending well-trained engineers into the national workforce who are able to recognize and capable of helping to alleviate future environmental problems are among our greatest thrusts."
Recent Publications in Refereed Journals
Maryland Society of Professional
(College of Civil Engineers)
International Society of Soil Mechanics
and Foundation Engineering
National Ground Water Association (formerly, National Water Well Association)
American Institute of Professional Geologists
Engineers Society of Baltimore (Board of
List of Accomplishments
Invited Keynote Speaker, Earth Fissures Symposium, 2005 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists.
Invited Expert Witness for Hearings on Geothermal Resource Development and Production, New Zealand.
Citizen Citation from Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore, for public service through the Greater Baltimore Committee (Water/Waste Water Subcommittee)
Massie Chairs Program Award for Outstanding Research and Educational Accomplishments
Board of Directors, Maryland Society of Professional Engineers
Award for Best Paper of the Previous Year in Environmental and Engineering Geology from the Association of Engineering Geologists
Engraved Certificate of Appreciation, Chinese (Taiwanese) Institute of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering
Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence © 2005 - 2011
( Updated 07/04/2011 )