* The AEESP Awards Committee has ultimate discretion for which Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award gets selected.
This award is given annually to recognize a rigorous and innovative doctoral thesis that advances the science and practice of water quality engineering for either engineered or natural systems. Special consideration will be given to physical-chemical process research and/or research that especially supports underserved communities, environmental awareness, or sustainable solutions. The award will consist of a plaque and a cash prize of $1,500 for the student, and a plaque and a cash prize of $500 for the faculty advisor. A $750 travel allotment is provided to the student recipient if he or she attends the awards ceremony. A total allotment of $750 is also available to support travel of the faculty advisor to the awards ceremony, or may be shared by faculty co-advisors who attend the ceremony.
Refer to the nomination package for the required submission requirements.
Faculty advisors are encouraged to nominate dissertations completed under their supervision but must limit themselves to a single entry. Nominated dissertations must be from the calendar year prior to when the award is given, i.e., the due date printed on the dissertation cover must be from the prior calendar year prior to the nomination year.
*Eligibility: Dissertations must have been from the previous calendar year, as per the cover page of the dissertation. Dissertations may be submitted up to one year late, but only under very extenuating circumstances. This is at the discretion of the Chair of the Awards Committee, but with approval from the AEESP President.
Professor Roberts (1938 - 2006) was among the very best and most admired environmental engineers of his generation. He brought together interdisciplinary teams of hydrogeologists, chemists, microbiologists, and engineers, and showed the value of interactions between laboratory studies, field studies, and theory for the solution of complex environmental problems. In 1997, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for these contributions. Paul was an inspiration to his students and faculty colleagues. For his students, Paul provided not only the tools, motivation and inspiration for making rigorous and innovative contributions to environmental engineering and science, but also a poignant example of how one can balance professional excellence with a full and rich personal life. He was an advocate of environmental awareness and green engineering long before it was commonly popular, and he was a strong supporter of environmental justice and engineers' role in helping to meet the needs of underdeveloped communities. Paul was a role model for many, and was often heard reminding his students and others to "do good while doing well."
Click here for a summary of past Student Award winners.
|2023||Weiyi Pan||Using Aquatic Chemistry to Understand Lead Concentrations in Drinking Water||Daniel Giammar, Washington University in St. Louis|
|2022||Riley Mulhern||Point-of-Use Water Treatment for Private Wells in North Carolina: Risks and Solutions for Lead, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), and Microbial Contaminants||Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, Indiana University|
|2021||Michael Bentel||Understanding Structure-Reactivity Relationships for Aqueous Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Within the UV/sulfite System||Jinyong Liu, University of California, Riverside|
|2020||John T. Trimmer||Resource Recovery from Sanitation to Amplify Development: Navigating Global and Local Possibilities||Jeremy S. Guest, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana|
|2019||Emily D. Garner||Occurrence and Control of Microbial Contaminents of Emerging Concern through Urban Water Cycle: Molecular Profiling of Opportunistic Pathogens and Antibiotic Resistance||Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech|
|2018||Masaru Nobu||Omics-based characterization of complex anaerobic metabolism in methanogenic wastewater treatment||Wen-Tso Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|2017||Kimberly Parker||Contribution of Halides to Photochemical Reactions in Estuaries and Coastal Waters||William Mitch, Stanford, University|
|2016||Sara E. Beck||Wavelength-Specific Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Microorganisms and Viruses for Improving Water Disinfection||Karl G. Linden, University of Colorado|
|2015||Justin T. Jasper||Treatment of Trace Organic Contaminants and Nutrients in Open-Water Unit Process Wetlands||David L. Sedlak, UC-Berkeley|
|2014||Roland D. Cusick||Nutrient and Heat Recovery from Waste Streams Using Microbial Electrochemical Technologies||Bruce E. Logan, Penn State University|
|2013||Greg LeFevre||Fate and Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Stormwater Bioretention Cells||Paige Novak and Raymond Hozalski, University of Minnesota|
|2012||Simoni Triantafyllidou||Lead (Pb) Contamination of Potable Water: Public Health Impacts, Galvanic Corrosion and Quantification Considerations||Marc A. Edwards, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University|
AEESP established the original doctoral dissertation award in 1974 with sponsorship from the consulting firm Engineering-Science, Inc. When Engineering-Science merged with Parsons Corporation in 1995, sponsorship of the award was continued by the Parsons Corporation for another 10 years. In the 2006 the award was discontinued and there were two doctoral dissertations awards made through sponsorship by CH2M Hill (2006-2011). The list of the winners of the Parsons/Engineering-Science from 1974-2005 are provided below:
|2005||John R. Zimmerman||In Situ Stabilization of Persistent Organic Contaminants in Marine Sediments||Richard Luthy, Stanford University|
|2004||William Mitch||Prevention of the Formation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) during Waste Water Chlorination||David L. Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley|
|2003||Qilin Li||Competitive Adsorption of Trace Organic Compounds by PAC Membrane Filtration Systems||Vernon L. Syoeyink and Benito Marinas, University of Illinois|
|2002||Charles B. Bott||Elucidating the Role of Toxin-Induced Microbial Stress Responses in Biological Wastewater Treatment Process Upsets||Nancy G. Love, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University|
|2001||Martin D. Johnson||Phenanthrene Sorption/Desorption Mechanisms and Rapid Prediction of Long-Term Desorption Rates Using Superheated Water||Walter J. Weber Jr, University of Michigan|
|2000||Carlos Filipe||Competition Between Phosphate and Glycogen Accumulating Bacteria: Stoichiometry, Kinetics and the Effects of pH||C.P. Leslie Grady, Jr, Clemson University|
|1999||Chi-Wang Lismid||Characterizing the Properties and Reactions of Natural Organic Matter by UV Spectroscopy: Adsorption of NOM and Formation of Disinfection By-Products||Mark M. Benjamin and Gregory Korshin, University of Washington|
|1998||Laura J. Ehlers||RP4 Plasmid Transfer Among Strains of Pseudomonas in a Biofilm||Edward J. Bouwer, Johns Hopkins University|
|1997||Xiaoyan Li||Coagulation between Fractal Aggregates and Small Particles and Fractal Properties of Marine Particles||Bruce Logan, University of Arizona|
|1996||Michael H. Bergin||Measurement and Modeling of Fluxes of Chemical Species to the Greenland Ice Sheet at Summit||Cliff I. Davidson, Carnegie Mellon University|
|1995||Tian Cheng Zhang||Influence of Biofilm Structure on Transport and Transformation Processes in Biofilms||Paul Bishop, University of Cincinnati|
|1994||Chih-Hsiang Liao||The Investigation of Hydrogen Peroxide Photolysis as a Water Treatment Process||Mirat D. Gurol, Drexel University|
|1993||Wookeun Bae||Modeling Dual-Limitation Kinetics Incorporating Intracellular Cofactor Responses||Bruce Rittmann, University of Illinois|
|1992||Lisa Alvarez-Cohen||Formulation of Trichloroethylene and Chloroform by Methanotrophs-Experimental Studies and Modeling of Toxicity and Sorption Effects||Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University|
|1991||Jil Talkovsky Geller||Dissolution of Non-Aqueous Phase Organic Liquids in Porous Media||James R. Hunt, University of California at Berkeley|
|1990||Gordon D. Cobb||Modeling and Experimental Simulations of Organic Contaminant Biotransformation in Subsurface Environments||Edward J. Bouwer, The Johns Hopkins University|
|1989||Cheng-Fang Lin||Adsorption of Metals and Dissolution of Ferrihydrite in the Presence of Polyphosphates||Mark M. Benjamin, University of Washington|
|1988||James R. Mihelcic||Microbial Degradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons under Denitrification Conditions in Soil-Water Suspensions||Richard G. Luthy, Carnegie Mellon University|
|1987||David Dzombak||Toward a Uniform Model for the Sorption of Inorganic Ions on Hydrous Oxides||Francois M.M. Morel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|1986||W. Clarkson||Fermentation of Particulate Organic Matter to Methane in Thermophilic Anaerobic Attached Film Expanded Bed Reactor||W. J. Jewell, Cornell|
|1985||Arthur Baehr||Immiscible Contaminant Transport in Soils with Emphasis on Gasoline Hydrocarbons||M. Corapcioglu, City College NY|
|1984||B.E. Jones||Fate of Toxic Organic Compounds in Activated Sludge and Integrated Activated Sludge/Carbon Treatment Systems||Walter J. Weber, Jr., University of Michigan|
|1983||Edward J. Bouwer||Transformations of Trace Halogenated Organic Compounds in Biofilms||Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University|
|1982||Chia-Hwa Yang||The Effects opf Cyanide and Chloroform Toxicity on Methane Fermentation||Richard Speece, Drexel|
|1981||Antonio O. Lau||Substrate Uptake and Mass Transfer Effects in Activated Sludge Bulking||David Jenkins, University of California|
|1980||Thomas Jewell||Urban Stormwater Pollutant Loadings||Donald D. Adrian, University of Mass.|
|1979||Bruce Rittmann||The Kinetics of Trace Organics Utilization by Bacterial Films||Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University|
|1978||Mesut Sezgin||The Effect of Dissolved Oxygen Concentration on Activated Sludge Process Performance||David Jenkins, University of California|
|1977||Bill Batchelor||Autotrophic Denitrification Using Sulfur Electron Donors||Alonzo Lawrence, Cornell University|
|1976||Michael Stenstrom||A Dynamic Model and Computer Compatible Control Strategies for Wastewater Treatment Plants||John F. Andrews, Clemson University|
|1975||William J. Snodgrass||A Predictive Phosphorus Model for Lakes-Development and Testing||Charles O'Melia, North Carolina|
|1974||Douglas Merrill||High Rate Treatment of Raw Domestic Sewage by Lime Precipitation and Dissolved Air Floatation||Roger Jordan, University of Colorado|