Edward J. Bouwer AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

Nominations for 2023 AEESP Awards will open on November 1, 2022.

Please take a moment to read AEESP's Conflict of Interest Policy to ensure nominators and/or nominees do not pose a conflict of interest prior to submitting nominations.

A selection committee of five AEESP members will review each nomination in a two-stage process. In the first stage, the committee will evaluate nomination packages consisting of three parts:

  1. A nomination letter, written on letterhead, from the faculty advisor.  The nomination letter will be considered in the evaluation process and must contain only the following information: (1) the e-mail and mailing addresses and telephone numbers for the student and advisor, (2) an indication as to when the dissertation was completed, (3) a concise statement (up to 250 words) defining the student's intellectual contribution to the work.  The student's contribution is especially important if multiple authors contributed to the work, (4) a shorter 50-word (max.) citation that may be used by the presenter when the winner is announced.
  2. A project summary written by the student, including an overview, the advancement of environmental science and engineering, and intellectual merit and broader impacts of the work (similar to an NSF proposal).  This document is limited to 1200 words.
  3. A 2-page CV for the student, following NSF guidelines (e.g., see https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg18_1/pappg_2.jsp)

These first-stage submissions will be evaluated on the contributions to the advancement of environmental engineering and science, intellectual merit and broader impacts of the research and clarity of presentation.  The most highly ranked nominees will be invited to submit full-length dissertations for a second-stage review and consideration for a dissertation award.  Second-stage evaluation criteria are similar to first-state review.

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.

Questions may be directed to the chair of the Ph.D. Dissertation Awards Committee:

Dr. Natalie Capiro
Department of Civil Engineering
Auburn University
e-mail: natalie.capiro@auburn.edu; Tel: 334-844-4369


Edward J. Bouwer (1955-2019) was a dedicated researcher, teacher, and mentor to his graduate students.  Ed was a leading researcher in microbial process engineering and performed groundbreaking work on the bioremediation of chlorinated solvents.  His research group's fundamental work on bioremediation, water and wastewater treatment, and contamination in urban environments led to innovations in engineering practice and informed decisions concerning land use and national environmental policy.  Ed combined pragmatism with compassion to solve environmental problems in Baltimore and across the country and always strived to positively impact human and environmental health.  Ed was on The Johns Hopkins University faculty from 1985 until his passing in 2019, was the Abel Wolman Professor, and served as department chair for nine years.  Ed will be remembered not only for his technical contributions, but also for his level of personal commitment to every undergraduate advisee, Master student and Doctoral candidate - treating everyone he encountered with kindness and respect.

Because mentoring Ph.D. students were especially important to him, Ed's family has kindly offered to help the AEESP Foundation establish the Edward J. Bouwer AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.  This award will allow AEESP the opportunity to honor the excellent work done by emerging researchers in the environmental engineering and science field and honor Ed's legacy of research and mentorship.  Thanks to the generous donations made by Ed's family, colleagues, and students, we have reached the stage at which we can publicly announce the award so that it can be granted annually.

Donations can be given directly via this website: