Two names that are not only synonymous with the industrial hygiene profession but also instrumental in shaping the American Industrial Hygiene Association are George and Florence Clayton. They are the early pioneers who made it their lifelong passion to ensure recognition of industrial hygiene as a career. Their lives are intimately entwined with AIHA because they have been major players in the Association's history. The Claytons used part of their residence as AIHA's early headquarters in 1955.

Considered by many as the “Father of Air Pollution Investigations,” George Clayton spent the early years of his career with the U.S. Public Health Service, Division of Industrial Hygiene where he directed the investigation into the Donora, Pennsylvania air pollution disaster in 1948. He also worked the phosgene gas release disaster of Poza Rica, Mexico in 1950. In addition, Clayton's career included work with the International Joint Commission, a group established by the United States and Canada to manage and protect from pollution the lake and river systems along the border.

Through his involvement with these and other events following World War ll, Clayton, along with his wife Florence, started a successful consulting business in 1954 to address industrial hygiene and air pollution issues that were receiving more public attention with the industrial expansion in the United States. For more than 50 years, the business started in the Clayton’s home in Detroit, Michigan grew to more than 400 consulting and laboratory employees in more than 20 offices in North America.

The Claytons collaborated with other luminaries of the profession including Warren Cook, Bill Frederick, Doug McEwen, Frank Patty, and Ralph Smith, to further advance the science and understanding of industrial hygiene. They authored numerous technical articles and served as editors of Patty’s Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. Additionally, Clayton served as the Executive Secretary of AIHA from 1955 to 1971. He received AIHA’s Cummings Memorial and Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Awards, as well as the Academy of Industrial Hygiene’s Henry F. Smyth, Jr. Award.

Retiring in 1974, the Claytons continued to be very involved in the profession through their retirement years. George Clayton passed away in 2000.


Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

In awarding the George and Florence Clayton Scholarship, preference is given to students enrolled in one of the following schools:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Michigan
  • Wayne State University
Current and Past Recipients

2018 -2019
Jordan Nelson, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Jacob S. Shedd, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2017 - 2018
Emily E. Armstrong, University of Michigan
Christina Summers, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2016 - 2017
Oluwabunmi M. Dada, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Allyson M. O'Connell, University of Michigan
Margaret C. Summers, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2015 - 2016
Hayley Seaman, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2014 - 2015
Jeffrey L. Hall Jr., University of Alabama at Birmingham
Lauren R. Kokx, University of Michigan

2013 - 2014
Katie H. Eversole, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2012 - 2013
Joseph Fruehbrodt, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2011 - 2012
David Mark Houston, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2010 - 2011
Brittany Lewis, University of Michigan

2009 - 2010
Michelle Kenney, University of Alabama

2008 - 2009
Kevin M. Abernethy, University of Michigan

2007 - 2008
Darren A. Brown, University of Michigan

2006 - 2007
Gustavo Serrano Izaguirre, University of Michigan

2005 - 2006
Amanda Brown, University of Alabama

2004 - 2005
Michael Cooper, University of Michigan

2003 - 2004
Darrah Sleeth, University of Michigan

2002 - 2003
Jessica Keplinger, University of Alabama

2001 - 2002
Megan McMaster, University of Michigan

1999 - 2000
Fredericka Walter, University of Alabama

1998 - 1999
Anette Tremonti, Wayne State University

1997 - 1998
Jeffrey J. Edge, University of Michigan

1996 - 1997
Rodney R. Larson, University of Alabama​