Cornelius B. “Neil” Murphy, Jr., PhD, has been State University of New York Senior Fellow for Environmental and Sustainable Systems since January 2014 after more than 12 years as President of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.
He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry from St. Michael’s College and his doctoral degree in chemistry as a NASA Fellow at Syracuse University.
His role at SUNY ESF followed an impressive career in business leading and growing an environmental engineering firm with a fine national and international reputation for its work and locally for its corporate citizenship in Central New York. He was President of O’Brien & Gere Technical Services from 1982 to 1992, became President of O’Brien & Gere Engineers Inc. in 1993 and later Chairman of the Board, and President of O’Brien & Gere Ltd. from 1997 to 2000. Along the way he also served as Chairman of the Board of Op-Tech Environmental Services and as a Director on the Board of Bergmann Associates.
Dr. Murphy also is on the board or advisory committees of several not-for-profit and charitable organizations including the Upstate Medical University Foundation; Boy Scouts of America Hiawatha Council; Audubon New York; Onondaga County Energy and Sustainability Committee; CNY State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission; and CenterState CEO. Since his 2012 appointment by the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture he has served on the federal Biomass Research & Development Technical Advisory Committee.
He also has served or continues to serve many other organizations including Success by Six, Say Yes Syracuse Scholarship Governance Board, Consensus, Metropolitan Development Association, New York State Environmental Technology Institute, Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board, Syracuse 20/20 Inc., Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, New York Indoor Environmental Quality Center Inc., St. Lawrence Aquarium & Ecological Center Inc., United Way of Central New York, Syracuse City School District Community Representatives Advisory Board, University Hill Corp., CNY Biotech Accelerator, Community General Hospital, American Cancer Society, CNY MedTech Foundation, ENABLE, Onondaga County Economic Development Leadership Council, Governor’s Renewable Energy Task Force, Community Revitalization Task Force Group, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Heart Association, WCNY Health and Science Advisory Panel, Onondaga Environmental Institute, and the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.
In 2013 FOCUS Greater Syracuse chose him for the annual Wisdom Keeper honor celebrating his extraordinary example as a Citizen Trustee. Other honors include the Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award, Greening USA’s Sustaining our Community award, Technology Alliance of Central New York Lifetime Achievement Award, Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award from the Adirondack Park Institute, Temple Adath Yeshurun Citizen of the Year, Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, The Salvation Army Community Spirit Award, and The Post-Standard Achievement Award.
He has produced 45 publications and a list four pages long of presentations to academic, government and professional organizations in his fields of expertise.