Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Engineer Professional Advisory Committee

RADM Sven E. Rodenbeck


Chief Engineer:  2009 - 2013

Rear Admiral (RADM) Sven E. Rodenbeck became the 12th Chief Engineer for US Public Health Service (PHS) on 1 November 2009.  As the PHS Chief Engineer, he provides advice and consultation on public health engineering matters to the Surgeon General and to over 1,200 PHS engineers and architects.  He is also the Deputy Branch Chief for the Cooperative Agreement Program Evaluation Branch at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

RADM Rodenbeck received his Bachelor of Science degree  in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida (1978), a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland (1983), and a Doctor of Science degree in Environmental Health from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (1997). He is a registered professional engineer in the states of Florida and Maryland and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer.

RADM Rodenbeck obtained his PHS commission in 1979 and served initially with the Indian Health Service (IHS). From 1979 to 1981, he was responsible for designing and managing 11 water and waste water construction projects totaling $1.3 million.  Following his IHS assignment, RADM Rodenbeck was assigned to the Environmental Protection Branch for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1981 to 1987.  At NIH, he provided engineering solutions for NIH facilities including the appraisal of NIH long-range plans for water supply at the main Bethesda reservation and water supply and sewage treatment operations at the NIH Animal Center.  RADM Rodenbeck also served as the focal point for environmental compliance for NIH facilities in Montgomery County, Maryland.  While at NIH he also served as the Chief Engineer Officer for the PHS Bethesda Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Since 1987, RADM Rodenbeck has been stationed at ATSDR performing various technical assignments including co-authoring the ATSDR Report to Congress on the public health implications of medical waste.  RADM Rodenbeck was responsible for over 90 ATSDR public health investigations of the hazardous waste sites across the United States.  His ATSDR managerial assignments included being the Chief of Staff for the PHS Chief Engineer (1999 - 2005).  RADM Rodenbeck was also the Team Leader for the ATSDR response to the World Trade Center attack and was deployed to assist with the recovery efforts after the 2005 and 2008 major Hurricanes (Katrina/Rita and Ike).  From May 2006 through May 2009, RADM Rodenbeck established and commanded the PHS Applied Public Health Team 3; a national emergency response public health team composed of 50 public health experts.

RADM Rodenbeck has received many PHS awards for outstanding service including two Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medals, an Outstanding Service Medal, and three Commendation Medals.  He has also received numerous unit and service awards including seven Outstanding Unit Citations. Various professional associations have also recognized RADM Rodenbeck’s achievements, including the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS) -- Gorgas Medal, the Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (COA) -- John C. Villforth Leadership Award and the PHS Responder of the Year for 2005 Award, the National Society of Professional Engineers--PHS Engineer of the Year for 1997, and the Society of American Military Engineers’ (SAME)--Hollis Medal and Cumming Plaque.

RADM Rodenbeck has authored or coauthored numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. His membership in professional organizations include the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE), American Society of Civil Engineers, AMSUS, COA, SAME, and Water Environment Federation.  RADM Rodenbeck has been an AAEE Trustee (1999-2002) and a SAME National Director (2001-2007).

Last Update: November 2009

Page Last Modified on 12/14/2015

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