Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education

The E4 Award will be granted to an educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession in the area of educating practitioners. The award will be jointly administered by AAEES and AEESP and will be bestowed annually at the AAEES Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ (E3S) Awards Luncheon and Technical Conference. A monetary award of $1,000 with an additional $500 for travel by the award recipient to the annual E3S ceremony will be granted to the winning nominee.

Examples of significant contributions include:

  • Development of educational material or text that enhances the ability of students to succeed as professional environmental engineers serving as practitioners in roles such as infrastructure design and project leadership.
  • Demonstration of successful course or curricula development aimed at educating practitioners. Successful deployment of the Environmental Engineering Body of Knowledge concepts.
  • Creation of unique methods or curricula that challenge and inspire students in the area of environmental engineering practice.
  • Demonstration of successful student educational outcomes (examples include: letters of support/nomination from former students currently practicing environmental engineering, former students passing PE, former students showing leadership as practitioners, critical projects that former students have led).
  • Establishment of positive student mentoring relationships or programs.
  • Contributions to the profession in terms of activity in professional organizations, delivery of lectures, and interaction with public agencies and the consulting community to bridge the gap between university education and environmental engineering practice.
  • Open to all university faculty teaching environmental engineering.

Nomination packages should include: (1) a brief cover letter from the nominator; (2) brief curriculum vitae (4-page maximum) for the nominee, (3) documentation related directly to the award criteria consisting of no more than 30 pages, (4) one (minimum) to five (maximum) letters of recommendation from current or past students; and (5) one (minimum) to three (maximum) letters of recommendation from faculty, administrator, or industry peers. Past nominations will be carried over and considered for three years and can be modified during the current nomination period.

Questions may be directed to:
Professor James R. Mihelcic
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
e-mail: jm41@usf.edu; Tel: 813-974-9896

Click here for additional information on the Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Award.


Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Winner

2014 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Recipient

Dr. Daniel B. Oerther, P.E., BCEE

Daniel B. Oerther is the Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T. He also serves as a Jefferson Science Fellow providing science, technology, and engineering advice to the Secretary of State. Previously, Dan was head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

He holds a doctorate in Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois, he is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ohio, and he was Board Certified by AAEES in 2005.

In 2009, Dan received the University Research E3 Honor Award from AAEES for "Improved Water Quality in Northwest Tanzania." His awards from AEESP include the 1999 MWH First Place Masters Thesis, the 2004 Outstanding Educator Award, the 2007 Distinguished Service Award as Liaison between AEESP and WEF, and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award as Chief Information Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of AEESP.

From 2014 through 2016, Dan is serving as Treasurer of AAEES, and he has championed the development of the Student Team Award. Dan's research expertise includes genome-enabled molecular biotechnologies to quantify microbes in activated sludge, BNR, MBRs, and microbial source tracking. He has also worked extensively to promote sanitation and drinking water in developing countries including Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Morocco, and Tanzania.

As an educator of engineering practitioners, Dan has been recognized for novel course materials in biotechnology, in the development of experiential learning, and in the development of a flipped classroom, asynchronous content, and mastery learning as part of Introduction to Environmental Engineering.


Past Recipients

2013 -- John T. Novak
2012 -- George Tchobanoglous

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