Purdue News

2006 Honorary Degree

Dennis J. Paustenbach
Doctor Of Science

Dennis J. Paustenbach
Dennis Paustenbach has distinguished himself with his leadership, academic contributions and entrepreneurial achievements in the field of toxicology and human health risk assessment.

He is currently the president of ChemRisk Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in human and ecological risk assessment, and risk analysis of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He lives in Woodside, Calif.

Dr. Paustenbach was raised near Canton, Ohio, and earned a doctorate degree in environmental toxicology from Purdue in 1982 after earning his bachelorŐs degree from Rose-Hulman Institute in 1974, a master's degree in industrial hygiene from the University of Michigan in 1977 and a master's degree in counseling psychology from Indiana State University (at night) in 1978. While at Purdue, he taught the first courses in environmental and occupational hygiene and this curriculum was one of the pillars upon which the School of Health Sciences was built.

He began his career as a process engineer at Eli Lilly and Company in Clinton, Ind., and Lafayette. He later worked at Stauffer Chemical and at Syntex Pharmaceuticals. He then joined McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineering Corporation, a consulting firm, eventually became its president and chief executive officer in 1996, responsible for $100 million in revenue annually and 16 offices worldwide.

Next, Dr. Paustenbach became the vice president of Exponent Inc., a world-renowned 700-person engineering consulting firm, and in 2003 established ChemRisk Inc. He serves as its president and chief executive officer, overseeing offices in five locations.

Besides his accomplishments within industry and consulting, Dr. Paustenbach has achieved prominent status as an academic figure. He has written 40 book chapters, the most popular college text in his field, published 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and served on about 40 scientific advisory boards, committees, and task forces for various government agencies.

Remarkably, Dr. Paustenbach has not only achieved significant success as a businessman, but has also established an international reputation as a scholar and lecturer even though not employed full-time within a university setting. He is a devoted scientist and citizen having served on many boards as well as promoted education and research through his generosity and fund-raising efforts.