Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition

2024 E3S Winners have now been posted.

E3S LogoThe Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition exists to identify and reward the best of today's environmental engineering and science. Its criteria define what it takes to be the best in environmental engineering and science practices: a holistic environmental perspective, innovation, proven performance and customer satisfaction, and contribution to an improved quality of life and economic efficiency.

The E3S Awards Competition, begun in 1989, is organized around the normal phases of development and implementation of environmental management projects and programs: research, planning, design, and operations and management. Each year, the entrants to the competition display a wide range of projects from innovative designs in waste treatment plants to new water treatment technologies to a one-of-a-kind Superfund site cleanup. At the same time, we see that today's engineers are becoming significantly more integrated in a team/project approach, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency in project management. The application of new technologies combined with experienced environmental engineering and science practices make these projects the award winners they are.

Those chosen for prizes by an independent panel of distinguished experts, addresses the broad range of modern challenges inherent in providing life-nurturing services for humans and protection of the environment. They are but a small percentage of the many projects involving environmental engineers and scientists around the world. Nevertheless, their innovations and performance illustrate the essential role of environmental engineers and scientists in providing a healthy planet. These award winners testify to the genius of humankind and best exemplify the Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ criteria.

Entry Categories

  • Design - of pollution control or other environmental facilities.
  • Environmental Sustainability - the support of the quality of life while living within the carrying capacity of all systems. A long term balance of environmental stewardship, economic development, and social well being is achieved, including renewable resources timely regenerated, timely substitute replacement of nonrenewable resources, harmful substances absorbed timely or made harmless.
  • Industrial Waste Practice - recognizes outstanding projects that incorporate innovative management and technological approaches to industrial water and waste management issues at pilot or full scale, in: treatment of water for industrial uses; reclamation of industrial liquid, solid, toxic and hazardous wastes; and integrated waste management and industrial process modifications to achieve waste minimization and pollution prevention objectives; Management of air emissions; Remediation of groundwater and riverine, lake, estuarine, and marine water; Brownfields/Greenfields restoration; and Management of radioactive waste materials. Grand Prize winners in this category are also awarded the W. Wesley Eckenfelder Industrial Waste Management Medal, which is sponsored by AquAeTer.
  • Operations/Management - of pollution control or other environmental facilities, prevention programs, or environmental regulatory programs (federal, state or local).
  • Planning - related to an environmental control project, system or environmental management facilities or activities.
  • Research - of a basic or applied nature that advances the state of the art of environmental engineering or science.
  • Small Firms - Any category above conducted by a small firm with annual gross revenue of $5,000,000 or less.
  • Small Projects - Any category above related to a potential or actual capital expenditure of $5 million or less or an operation or management activity with an annual budget of $500,000 or less.
  • University Research - of a basic or applied nature under the direction of a full-time faculty member. Third parties can "nominate" another for the award and provide the entry materials.

The 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA)

In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA), we are seeking projects that have been best at advancing the act. For the 2024 E3S Competition, all projects submitted in one of the categories above may also enter the “50th Anniversary of the 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act”.

The 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the United States and focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources.  Additional information on the 1974 SWDA can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-safe-drinking-water-act.

Double your chances of winning! Indicate on the reservation and entry forms if your project includes the SWDA (and its variants). These projects will be judged within their submitted category AND in a new one-time only category "50th Anniversary of the 1974 Safe Water Drinking Act".


Projects are judged by an independent panel of distinguished experts in environmental engineering and environmental science using a scoring system. Details of the scoring criteria are included in the Entry Guidelines.

Honor Awards will be presented in each category to those entries as determined by the judges.

Grand Prize (in name of category) will be awarded to the best entry in each category.

The Superior Achievement for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Award will be presented to the best project entered in the competition.

How Do I Enter My Project into the E3S Competition?

Entering is easy and the submission process is done entirely online! It starts with completing the reservation form at the link below. The reservation form acts as an intent to enter the competition.  You will then be assigned a personal and secured drop box for electronically submitting your project.

E3S Competition Reservation Form

Projects must be uploaded by February 1.  No more submissions are being accepted for 2024.. 

2024 Entry Forms (click to download each document).

E3S Official Entry Form
E3S PE License Waiver
E3S Entry Guidelines
E3S Sample Entry Package

E3S Online Payment Form

Click here to see the winners for 2024.

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