Perry L. McCarty joined Stanford University in 1962 to develop the environmental engineering and science program. From 1980 to 1985 he was chairman of Stanford’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and from 1989 to 2002 he served as director of the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center.
His research has focused on biological processes for the control of environmental contaminants. In addition to more than 300 publications, he is coauthor of the textbooks Chemistry for Environmental Engineering and Science and Environmental Biotechnology – Principles and Applications.
Elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1977 and numerous other organizations, he was selected by the National Academies to be the 2001 Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecturer.