News & Features

Charles A. Sorber 1939 - 2013

charles sorber


Oct. 23, 2013

Charles A. Sorber, professor emeritus in the department of civil, architectural and environment engineering at The University of Texas at Austin died on Friday, October 18, 2013 in New York.

His distinguished career in academia spans three decades. He was a veteran academician and administrator who successfully served as the chief administrative officer of three University of Texas System academic institutions.

Sorber began his professional career with the U.S. Army, serving in a number of positions in Europe with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. His service earned him the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters as well as other honors.

He joined the UT System in 1975, serving in a number of academic, research, and administrative positions at UT San Antonio; he was Associate Dean, College of Engineering at UT Austin from 1980 to 1986 when he was appointed Dean of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to the UT System in 1993 when he was appointed as president of UT Permian Basin, serving as the fourth president of the institution from 1992-2001.

He returned to The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 where he held a number of positions including interim president of The University of Texas at Arlington from 2003 to 2004. In 2009 he was asked to come out of retirement to serve as interim president of The University of Texas-Pan American.

Sorber authored or co-authored more than 130 papers and reports in the areas of land application of wastewater and sludge, water and wastewater reuse, water and wastewater disinfection, and higher education.

He was a member of several honorary societies and received a number of awards for his teaching and professional service, including the Gordon Maskew Fair Award of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and the Orchard Medal of the Water Environment Federation. In addition, he was named Outstanding Engineering Alumnus of The Pennsylvania State University and was named a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers, and served as President of the Water Environmental Federation during 1992-93.

He was also a student of the department, earning a Ph.D. in civil engineering in 1971. He was recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Graduate of the Cockrell School of Engineering and is a member of the department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni.