2018 A&WMA Honorary Membership -- Paine

Honorary Membership, not exceeding two each year, may be conferred upon individual A&WMA members who have attained eminence in some field related to the mission and objectives of the Association or who have rendered valuable service to the Association. Honorary members shall have the privileges of individual members and shall pay no dues.  The nominator must also be a current A&WMA member.

A&WMA commends the following individuals and awards them Honorary Membership in 2018:

David W. Heinold
Robert J. Paine

Robert (Bob) Paine is an associate vice president in the air quality services group within AECOM’s environment group. He is responsible for the strategic business and research direction in the areas of air quality at AECOM and leads AECOM’s Air Quality Modeling Center of Excellence. Paine has worked at AECOM and its predecessor companies, ENSR and ERT, for 43 years in air quality consulting and provides senior leadership for a team of about 60 air quality modeling practitioners in North America. His key focus areas include air quality and exposure modeling, model development and evaluation, and emissions and air quality monitoring.

Paine’s started his career at Environmental Research & Technology (ERT) in 1975, before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had developed its first air quality modeling guideline. In those days, ERT was developing several of its own dispersion models, since there were no guideline air quality models, and EPA’s air quality models were in their infancy. In his early years at ERT, Paine was involved in supplementary control system forecasting projects for which emission sources were allowed to emit more during periods of good dispersion. This practice was ended with the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments, but it gave Paine good experience for understanding the causes of high concentration events.

In the 1980s, Paine was involved in some of the most ambitious air quality modeling development and field study projects in history. Those projects include EPA’s development of a refined complex terrain dispersion model (which emerged as CTDMPLUS, promulgated in 1993 as a guideline model). The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) also engaged ERT to work on development of an advanced model in conjunction with extensive tracer field experiments, and the Mineral Management Service contracted with ERT to develop an overwater dispersion model (which is known as the Offshore and Coastal Dispersion, or OCD, model). In addition, Paine worked with others at ERT, such as Dr. Bruce Egan, to submit to EPA an advanced screening complex (the Rough Terrain Diffusion Model, or RTDM), which was promulgated in 1988 as an advanced screening complex terrain model. He also worked with fellow scientists at ERT at the time, Joe Scire and Lloyd Schulman, on building downwash modeling approaches that were adopted in the Industrial Source Complex (ISC) model as the “Scire-Schulman” algorithm.

In 1991, Paine participated in a modeling workshop that led to the realization that EPA needed to update the dispersion algorithms in its guideline model, which at the time was ISC. This led to the establishment of a cooperative agreement between the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and EPA to update ISC with a model that incorporates updated understandings of plume dispersion. The group that carried out this effort was the AMS-EPA Regulatory Model Improvement Committee (AERMIC), and the new model that resulted from its work became AERMOD. Paine was a member of AERMIC and worked with his AMS and EPA colleagues to design, code, evaluate, and document this model until its eventual adoption by EPA as a guideline model in 2005.

In the 1990s, Paine worked with EPRI to conduct new field studies and evaluate an updated building downwash algorithm named “PRIME”, which was eventually incorporated into AERMOD. In addition, he was chair of the AMS Committee on Meteorological Aspects of Air Pollution from 1996 to 1998.
In recent years, Paine has continued to work with EPA on the promulgation of AERMOD and then in various technical forums to improve this model. In 2010, he led an effort with industry funding to suggest improvements to AERMOD’s low wind formulation, which has led to some adopted changes by EPA and consideration of additional improvements in the future. In other work, he has addressed with EPA other aspects of dispersion modeling that need attention, such as moist plume thermodynamics, urban characteristics for large industrial areas, plume rise from a row of stacks, and the effects of fugitive heat releases on plume rise and building downwash.

Paine joined the Association in 1986, and since then, has attended and made presentations at every annual meeting to the present day. Additionally, he has served as a member of the Meteorology Committee (AB-3, now the APM Committee) and served as an officer of that committee between 1994 and 2003. He is co-author of more than 150 papers and presentations published and/or delivered in scientific journals, books, and technical conferences, and has been on planning committees for several A&WMA air modeling specialty conferences given by the APM Committee.

Paine received a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the State University of New York at Albany in 1973, and a master’s degree in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975.