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In Memoriam: Dr. William Hinds, First Chair of Environmental Health Sciences

Professor emeritus Dr. William Hinds was an internationally renowned scholar on airborne contaminants and respiratory protection, as well as founding chair of the Fielding School's Department of Environmental Health Sciences and a beloved colleague, leader, and mentor

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Date: 
Monday, May 24, 2021
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Written by Dr. Shane Que Hee, professor and interim chair, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. William C. Hinds, 82, professor emeritus of Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, died peacefully of pulmonary fibrosis at his Alamo, California home in the Bay Area on May 14, 2021. His survivors include his wife Lynda and his children and their families.

He was the Department of Environmental Health Sciences’ first chair after the school’s departmentalization in 1989 and served until 1991. He then in 2000 became principal investigator and director of the NIOSH Southern California Education and Research Center until retirement in 2009. He was the program director of the UCLA Industrial Hygiene Program from 1982 before SPH departmentalization through to his retirement. He was deputy director of the NIOSH Southern California Educational Resource Center 1993-2000. He was also co-director along with his close environmental health sciences (EHS) colleague Dr. John Froines of the UCLA component of the NIEHS Southern California Environmental Health Center until his retirement. Hinds was also a member of the UCLA EPA Particle Center, headed by Froines, from 1999-2009.

Hinds' primary research area was fundamental and applied research related to aerosols and industrial hygiene controls of airborne contaminants including respiratory protection. He mentored 16 PhD students among whom were Dr. Yifang Zhu (now senior associate dean for academic programs at FSPH) and former EHS Faculty member Dr. Nola Kennedy (now chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, California State University, Northridge). His 33 MPH and MS advisees in industrial hygiene were grateful for his mentorship, three also going on to doctoral degrees in EHS and environmental science and engineering. He published 75 papers in peer-review journals, 25 peer-reviewed chapters and proceedings, and organized many sessions at the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition, International Aerosol Conferences, and the annual conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research. He was an invited speaker to other aerosol conferences in Europe and Asia. Perhaps Hinds' most known contribution was the seminal textbook Aerosol Technology: Properties, Behavior and Measurement of Airborne Particles, the first such text in the field. The 1st edition came out in 1982, the 2nd in 1999, and the 3rd will be soon published with the co-authorship of Zhu. A Japanese edition appeared in 1985.

Hinds was born in Waterville, Maine, graduated with his bachelor's in mechanical engineering in 1962 from Cornell University, obtained his master of science in hygiene from Harvard University in 1969, his doctorate in environmental health from Harvard University in 1972 (Aerosol Measurement by Laser Doppler Spectroscopy), and a certificate of advanced engineering study from Cornell University in 1988. In the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Harvard University School of Public Health, he held the following positions: research associate in Industrial Hygiene Engineering, 1972-73; assistant professor of Environmental Health Engineering 1973-80; and associate professor of Environmental Health Engineering 1980-82. He then transferred to the-then UCLA School of Public Health as an associate professor starting in 1982 (also founding the UCLA Industrial Hygiene Program), and became full professor in 1986. He was affiliated faculty of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1984-88.

He was honored as Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association in 1994; the American Industrial Hygiene Association Donald E Cummings Memorial Award in 2009; and the American Association for Aerosol Research David Sinclair Award in 2009. He won many FSPH and EHS awards and was in demand as a committee member for students and faculty.

He was a board certified full diplomate of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene Comprehensive Practice (CIH) from 1975, and a Registered Environmental Assessor (REA) of the State of California 1992-96.