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Civil and environmental engineering professor recognized for contributions to research excellence at Florida A&M University

Story by
Kwame Manu
Dr. Clark receiving his FAMU award


FAMU-FSU College of Engineering civil and environmental engineering professor Clayton J. Clark II, P.E. was awarded the 2018 Research Excellence Award by Florida A&M University in honor of the grants he has acquired for the college. This year alone--and due to Clark’s efforts--FAMU received three continuing grants and three new grants from organizations including the National Science Foundation ($404,000) and the U.S. Department of Education ($175,000 by the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program and $1.49 million for the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program). The dollars from the grants will be utilized to both conduct environmental research and to increase the number and productivity of under-represented minority students in engineering research.

“It all seems as if it came at once, but it took a number of years and work for these to come to fruition,” Clark said.

Clark was made full professor through FAMU in August 2018. For months, the FAMU-FSU Engineering leadership considered and carefully reviewed Clark’s work and community service over the course of his career. The university analyzed his research students who have graduated, his published articles, funded grants, and his work and service in local, national and international communities.

“He’s a strength that’s absolutely necessary in our department,” associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Sungmoon Jung said. “He has a very strong track record of mentoring undergrads and leading them to graduate school.”

With his master’s degree and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Florida, Clark has honed his life mission to forge efficient ways to clean contamination and waste around the world. His research interests include water resources engineering and hydrology, pollutant transport, site monitoring and delineation. 

“As a colleague he is very supportive to me,” said assistant professor Youneng Tang. “If I need any help researching or writing proposals, he’s very helpful.”

Clark has close-knit ties to FAMU. His education began at FAMU High (now FAMU Developmental Research School) from kindergarten through graduation and continued through his undergraduate studies at the university. 

Even with the many accomplishments and accolades under his belt this year, Clark does not gloat.

“I’m not good for self-promotion,” he said. “I know I am blessed here to be a blessing to others.”

Clark does however, find pride in the success of his research students. He currently has six Ph.D. students and one master’s student under his wing. He counts their successful careers as some of his greatest achievements.