Innovyze Excellence in Computational Hydraulics/Hydrology Award

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This award is given annually to recognize a student whose research contributes to the knowledge pool of in the area of Computational Hydraulics & Hydrology. The award selection will be based on original, innovative research of publishable quality and other factors listed below. Both Master's and Ph.D. students are eligible.

The award will consist of a plaque and a cash honorarium of $1,500 for the student and a plaque and cash honorarium of $500 for the major faculty advisor. A $500 travel allotment is provided to the student recipient to attend the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AAEES) Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Awards Luncheon. The award selection is administered jointly by a committee consisting of equal numbers of AAEES and AEESP members. The award is co-sponsored by Innovyze, the global leader in smart wet infrastructure modeling and management tools.

Eligible applicants will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. academic program performance (35%),
  2. research accomplishment (35%),
  3. professional or community service (15%),
  4. purpose and goals (10%), and
  5. any other evidence provided (5%).

An applicant remains eligible up to one calendar year following graduation and receipt of the degree earned.

Complete nomination packages should include:

  1. Academic letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor of the applicant detailing the contributions of the research to the profession and also 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. One additional academic letter of recommendation,
  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).

Questions may be directed to the chair of the AAEES Foundation Awards Committee:

John E. Tobiason, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
e-mail:; Tel: 413-545-5397

Information on where to submit a nomination package can be found here:

Innovyze Excellence Winner

2017 Innovyze Excellence in Computational Hydraulics/Hydrology Award

Qian Zhang, Ph.D.

Advisor: William P. Ball, Ph.D

Dr. Qian Zhang is currently a watershed data analyst (assistant research scientist) with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science at the US Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program (Annapolis, MD). His main responsibility is to work with scientists, professionals, and managers in the Chesapeake Bay partnership to explore natural and anthropogenic-based causes behind the observed current status and long-term trends in the water quality of the streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This collaborative effort is critical to defining the success of the Chesapeake Bay and watershed restoration efforts to date and to making science-based management decisions in the foreseeable future.

Shortly before joining the Chesapeake Bay Program in September 2016, Zhang obtained his Ph.D degree from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Under the advisement of Prof. Bill Ball, Zhang's doctoral dissertation focused on applying scientific principles (including landscape hydrology, contaminant transport, and nutrient biogeochemistry) and statistical approaches to quantify nutrient and sediment export from major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. Through his dissertation research, Zhang has delivered a number of scientific products, including six journal publications and three additional manuscripts.

Prior to obtaining his doctoral degree, Zhang obtained two Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University, one in environmental engineering and the other in statistics. He obtained his bachelor's degree in environmental engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2009. Originally from China, Dr. Zhang currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two little sons.

Past Recipients

2016 Jefferson, Jennifer
Advisor: Dr. Reed Maxwell
Colorado School of Mines
2015 Dale, Amy Carnegie Mellon University

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