W. Wesley Eckenfelder Graduate Research Award

Nominations for 2022 AEESP Awards will open from November 1, 2021 until January 31, 2022.

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This award is given annually to recognize an environmental engineering or environmental science graduate student whose research contributes to the knowledge pool of wastewater management.  The award selection will be based on original, innovative research of publishable quality and other factors as provided below.

Both Master’s and Ph.D. students are eligible.  The award will consist of a plaque and a cash honorarium of $1,500.00 for the student and a plaque for the faculty advisor.  A $500.00 travel allotment to student recipients who attend the AAEES Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science awards ceremony will also be provided.  This award selection committee is administered jointly by AEESP and AAEES, and is co-sponsored by HDR. Eligible applicants will be judged based on academic program performance (45%), professional or community service (15%), project significance (25%), purpose and goals (10%), and any other evidence provided (5%).  An applicant remains eligible up to one calendar year following graduation and receipt of the degree earned.

Electronic nomination packages should include: (1) A letter from the faculty advisor of the applicant, indicating that the applicant has completed all substantive requirements for the graduate degree sought, and has earned a minimum GPA of 3.3/4 in the current program, (2) Two academic letters of  recommendation, detailing the contributions of the research to the profession, (3) Copy of a publication (or manuscript submitted for publication) derived from the subject research for which the applicant is the first author – 25 page limit, (4)  A professional resume of the student applicant, listing all professional affiliations, publications, honors, service, and relevant experience, and (5) An applicant-prepared statement of professional purpose in pursuing the graduate degree and goals for the first five years of professional practice – (limit 500 words).

*Eligibility: Consideration for this award is open to Master's and Ph.D. students performing research in the field of wastewater management.  An applicant remains eligible up to one calendar year following graduation and receipt of the degree earned.

Questions may be directed to the Sub-Committee chair of the AEESP Awards Committee:

Dr. Karl Rockne
Program Director, Environmental Engineering Program
National Science Foundation
e-mail: krockne@uic.edu; Tel:

Professor Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. is considered the “godfather” of industrial wastewater management.  He was a great colleague and mentor to numerous practitioners, professors, and students.  His prolific contributions to the environmental engineering discipline included writing over thirty books, serving as a principal in several environmental engineering firms, and receiving twenty-eight awards from a wide range of professional societies.  In addition, Dr. Eckenfelder was an accomplished professor with a teaching career that included positions at Manhattan College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Vanderbilt University.  He was known internationally as an early developer and innovator of biological wastewater treatment technology that is now considered a standard skill employed by practicing professionals, worldwide.


Past Recipients

Year Recipient Advisor
2021 Jiong Gao Dionysios D. Dionysiou, University of Cincinnati
2020 Joseph Weaver Francis L. de los Reyes III and Joel Ducoste, North Carolina State University
2018 Andrew Pfluger Junko Munakata Marr and Linda Figueroa, Colorado School of Mines
2016 Matthew Verbyla James Mihelcic, University of South Florida
2015 Bryan Coday Tzahi Cath, Colorado School of Mines
2014 Maureen Kinyua   Sarina Ergas,  University of South Florida
2013 Roland Cusick Bruce Logan, Pennsylvania State University
2012  Xie He Francois de los Reyes, North Carolina State University