Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ Awards Competition

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.

Just added! The 50th Anniversary of the 1972 Clean Water Act

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Clean Water Act, the E3S 2022 competition encourages the submission of Clean Water process (and its variants) projects. These projects will be judged within their submitted category and in the one-time only category "50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act". Simply indicate if your project includes Clean Water process (and its variants) on the reservation form.

This award is for outstanding achievement by an individual, school or company in the science and art of water pollution control. It requires accomplishment of a technical nature, innovative process, method or device on part of the recipient that is considered to be a major contribution to the science and art of water pollution control, the merit of which has been widely recognized by persons in the field.

Double your chances of winning!


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?

Entries are now closed for 2022. Thank you to all who entered for 2022.

Click here to see the winners for 2022.

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