2013 AEESP 50th Anniversary Conference

Environmental Engineers and Scientists of 2050: Education, Research, and Practice

July 14 - 16, 2013


Conference Speakers

Dr. Glen T. Daigger, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, NAE

Glen T. DaiggerA recognized expert in wastewater treatment, especially the use of biological processes, Dr. Daigger is currently a Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for CH2M HILL where he has been employed for 34 years. He also served as Professor and Chair of the Environmental Systems Engineering Department at Clemson University. As the author or co-author of more than 100 technical papers, four books, and several technical manuals, he has contributed to advancing practice within our profession. He currently serves as President of the International Water Association (IWA). For the Water Environment Federation (WEF) he has served as Chair of several committees, including the task force that developed the most recent edition of the WEF MOP No. 8, Design of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants, Board of Editorial Review of Water Environment Research, the Technical Practice Committee, and the Committee Leadership Council (CLC). He has also served as in the House of Delegates and the Board of Trustees. For the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) he served on the Board of Directors and Research Council where he served as its chair. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kappe, Freese, and Feng lectures and the Harrison Prescott Eddy, Morgan, and the Gascoigne Awards from WEF. A member of a number of professional societies, Dr. Daigger is also a member of the National Academy of Engineers.

Abstract of Dr. Daigger's Presentation: Translating Research Results Into Practice

As Environmental Engineers and Scientists we are faced with many challenges which require that Environmental Engineering and Science practice advance. Scientific knowledge forms that basis for our practice and, consequently, research is necessary to expand this scientific basis to allow us to perform at a higher level. However, research results do not advance practice until they are translated into practical results which can be implemented repeatedly to solve environmental problems.

The process by which new technologies, practices, ideas, and innovations are introduced and adopted is a well studied process by both social scientists and the business community. Thus, much is known about the process but this knowledge is only occasionally applied systematically to the transfer of research advances in Environmental Engineering and Science into practice, resulting in the intended benefits to society. This presentation will couple theory and practical experience with the translation of Environmental Engineering and Science research results into practice to help students and researchers better understand the constraints inherent in this process and how to accelerate it.

Dr. Richard G. Luthy, Ph.D., P.E., D.E.E.

Richard G. LuthyDick Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. His area of teaching and research is environmental engineering and water quality.

He is the Director of the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for re-inventing the nation's urban water infrastructure. This center is a collaboration among four universities that promotes new strategies for urban water systems to achieve more sustainable solutions to urban water challenges.

Dr. Luthy is a registered professional engineer, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, Water Environment Federation Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Abstract of Dr. Luthy's Presentation: Securing more sustainable solutions to urban water challenges

Many cities, especially in the west, southwest and southeast, face increasing water scarcity and a mounting water crisis arising from climate change, population growth, ecosystem demands and deteriorating infrastructure. This presentation will describe collaborative research to address this crisis through more sustainable solutions to urban water use, reuse and management. Examples will be shown of a new vision of engineered systems — that provide decreased reliance on centralized facilities by employing distributed treatment systems that embrace energy-neutral wastewater reclamation and nutrient recovery, and of managed natural systems — that enhance our ability to transmit, store, and purify water while simultaneously restoring urban hydrology and aquatic habitat. Examples of institutional issues illustrate factors confronting water innovation, while university-industry collaborations and test beds can identify and overcome these barriers. The presentation draws examples from the NSF Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing Urban Water Infrastructure — a collaboration among UC Berkeley, Colorado School of Mines, New Mexico State University, and Stanford University.

Dr. Susan E. Powers, PhD, PE

Susan E PowersSusan E. Powers is the Spence Professor of Sustainable Environmental Systems and the Associate Director of Sustainability in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment at Clarkson University. She received her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1992 and has had a variety of academic appointments at Clarkson University ever since. Her research includes technical and environmental assessment of sustainability efforts and energy and climate education initiatives at middle, high school and collegiate levels. In the wide range of classes that Dr. Powers has taught at middle school to graduate levels, she focuses on teaching the process of engineering problem solving in a real-world environment. By focusing on complex and relevant environmental problems, the importance of societal impacts and communication can be stressed as well as providing a basis and relevance for technical material needed to address the engineering problem.

Dr. Powers has served extensively with the AEESP, including service on the Board of Directors, chair of the publications committee, and a member of the 1997 long-range planning committee. She was also a member of the AAEE/AEESP Environmental Engineering Body of Knowledge committee from 2007 to 2009.

Abstract of Dr. Powers' Presentation: Envisioning the future of environmental engineering education: Using campus sustainability projects as experiential learning sites

A recent opinion piece in Science laid out a vision for higher education in the coming decades.  A lot more dependence on distance learning and experiences outside of a traditional classroom were identified as inevitable trends.  As a closeted Luddite, I personally dread the thought of losing direct contact with my students by interjecting layers of technology between us.  Yet at the same time, recognizing opportunities to trade a traditional classroom for experiential education are enticing.  A growing trend to utilize our campus and surrounding communities as our "classrooms" has significant pedagogical value.  A critical element in any shared faculty-student experiential learning project is a communal drive to learn together about new systems and processes. This engages both the instructor and the student in a relevant, open ended, ill-posed problem identical to what they will encounter in the next phase of their professions.

This presentation will use examples from campus sustainability experiential learning projects to assess what we think we need to teach students (a.k.a. – ABET and the BoK) versus the critical skills that students will need as professionals in a rapidly changing landscape of tools and knowledge.

Dr. George Tchobanoglous, Ph.D., P.E.

George TchobanoglousDr. George Tchobanoglous is a Professor Emeritus, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of California, Davis.

For over 30 years, wastewater expert Dr. Tchobanoglous taught courses on water and wastewater treatment and solid waste management at the University of California, Davis, where he is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is widely recognized for advancing the use of new technologies in four key areas: constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, the application of alternative filtration technologies, ultraviolet disinfection for wastewater reuse applications, and decentralized wastewater management.

Dr. Tchobanoglous has authored or coauthored over 375 publications, including 14 textbooks and five engineering reference books. The textbooks have been used at more than 225 colleges and universities in the United States. Among his honors, he was inducted to the National Academy of Engineers in 2004, received an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines in 2005, and was awarded the Frederick George Pohland Medal from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors in 2007.

Abstract of Dr. Tchobanoglous' Presentation: Some Thoughts on the Future Education of Environmental Engineers

In the 20th century the primary focus of wastewater treatment was on the removal and treatment of settleable and floatable solids, organic matter and pathogenic microorganisms. In the 21st century, wastewater is no longer viewed as a waste requiring disposal, but as a renewable recoverable source of energy, resources, and potable water. This paradigm shift in the view of wastewater will require new approaches. The engineers of tomorrow must also deal with a variety of challenges not generally considered in engineering curriculums including the impact of population demographics, climate change and sea level rise, uncontrollable events, and the law of unintended consequences. In light of these demands, it is appropriate to consider briefly some challenges as well as opportunities that will become increasingly important in the future education of engineers.



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