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AAEES's February 2024 PechaKucha
Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EST
Category: AAEES Webinar Series

AAEES's February 2024 PechaKucha Event

Webinar Info


Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Noon Eastern | 9:00 a.m. Pacific


1 hour and 30 minutes (approximate)

Registration Fees:

$40 for non members | FREE for all AAEES Members


Join us as we showcase three of our 40 under 40 Recognition Program recipients using a popular Japanese-inspired presentation format called a PechaKucha.  We will also include a bonus conversation on becoming Board Certified.

What exactly is a PechaKucha? 

A PechaKucha celebrates people, passion and creative thoughts. The event will consist of several speakers each showing 20 slides and presenting for about 6 and a half minutes.  We will have a few minutes in between each presentation for some Q & A. You will gain knowledge on four different topics in under an hour!  

AAEES members will earn 1.5 PDHs for attending. 

Presentation Topics


Food-Energy-Water Systems for the UnderServed

Colleen C. Naughton, Ph.D.

Electrify water and soil for PFAS destruction

Yang Yang, Ph.D.

Biosolids Management at a 250 MGD facility

Cecilia M. Dominguez, P.E.

PKversation on Board Certification

Aaron Bivins, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Daniel B. Oerther, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, BCES

Colleen Naughton

Colleen Naughton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of California Merced

Dr. Colleen C. Naughton is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of California, Merced. Her lab co-designs sustainable and culturally sensitive Food-Energy-Water Systems for and with the underserved (FEWS-US) nationally and globally through Life Cycle Assessment, Geographic Information Systems, integration of Anthropology and Engineering, and effective science policy. She created the global dashboard of wastewater monitoring for SARS-CoV-2, COVIDPoops19, that won the 2021 AAEES Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Grand Prize in University Research Award. Dr. Naughton is a past Science and Technology Policy Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington D.C. with the Millennium Challenge Corporation. She was a postdoctoral researcher and obtained her doctorate at the University of South Florida (USF) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Naughton served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Engineer from 2009-2012. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.

Food-Energy-Water Systems for the UnderServed

Environmental and Social Life Cycle Assessment of different crops and agricultural technologies, technologies to treat groundwater contaminants, wastewater monitoring of different pathogens from public health. What do all these have in common? Food-Energy-Water Systems.

Yang Yang

Yang Yang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Clarkson University

Dr. Yang Yang received his Ph.D. from Tsinghua University in 2014 and his postdoc training at the California Institute of Technology from 2014 to 2018. He joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson University as an Assistant Professor in 2019. Dr. Yang specializes in the synthesis and characterization of advanced electrocatalysts and piezoelectric materials and the exploration of their environmental applications, such as disinfection, emerging contaminant control, and harmful algal bloom mitigation. Dr. Yang has published 30+ peer-reviewed articles in flagship journals and owns three patents in subject areas of emerging contaminant analysis, wastewater treatment, and flue gas purification. He is the co-founder of ResET Water, a startup company dedicated to commercializing electrochemical water treatment technology. 

He was elected to the Young Editorial Board of the Frontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering. He is an associate editor of Emerging Contaminants and an Early Career Editorial Board member of ACS ES&T Engineering. His research group at Clarkson received > $2M in funding from NSF, DoD, DoE, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. He received the prestigious NSF CAREER award in 2023.

Electrify water and soil for PFAS destruction.

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that have been used since the 1940s. Their ubiquitous presence in the environment, significant toxicity, and persistence have garnered rapidly growing public concerns. In this talk, we will demonstrate our recent progress in developing advanced electrochemical processes to not only destroy target PFAS but also completely mineralize them into fluoride in complex water matrices at ambient conditions. This talk will also introduce a groundbreaking piezoelectric ball milling approach, which enables the generation of ~kV high potential in the solid phase to destroy and mineralize PFAS in soil, spent sorbents, and chemical waste at ambient conditions. These two diverse technical approaches converge into one conclusion – PFAS are not forever chemicals.

Cecilia Dominguez

Cecilia Maria Dominguez, P.E.
Operations Engineer
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

Cecilia Dominguez stands out as a trailblazer and leader in her field. With a robust educational background, including a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from UC Irvine, a Multiple Subjects teaching credential from LMU, and an MS in Environmental Engineering & Science from Stanford University, Cecilia has seamlessly integrated her passion for education and engineering throughout her career. 

In her more than six years with L.A. County Sanitation Districts, Cecilia has earned her P.E. and now hold the pivotal position of Operations Engineer, overseeing the facility’s Solids Processing. In this capacity, she collaborates with Operators, Electricians and Maintenance crews to ensure the seamless day-to-day functioning of critical processes for the 1,200 wet ton/day production (sludge screening and dewatering, solids conveyance and offsite hauling). Her expertise extends to being the go-to speaker and presenter on biosolids, asset management and condition assessment at The Warren Facility). 

Cecilia’s commitment to the community is exemplified by her drive to bridge education to engineering, which began with her 3 years serving in Teach for America. She currently leads education tours at The Warren Facility for diverse groups and presents at local schools on the wastewater treatment process. Acknowledged for her outstanding contributions, she has been featured in CWEA’s Clean Water Magazine, emphasizing the importance of mentorship and diversity in the workplace. Her colleagues speak glowingly of her technical expertise, dedication to mentoring, and significant contributions to STEM education programs. 

A transformative leader, innovator and inclusive mentor, Cecilia Dominguez exemplifies dedication to environmental engineering, education and community service.

Biosolids Management at a 250 MGD facility

I will discuss the operations ins and outs of managing biosolids production and handling at LACSD's largest facility, the AK Warren Water Resource Facility. This will provide an overview of the processing of digested sludge, the dewatering process and touch on hauling off-site. Throughout, I will emphasize the challenges and intricacies of operations for this processing.

PKversation on Board Certification

Aaron Bivins
Aaron Bivins, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University

Dr. Aaron Bivins is a public health engineer leading research to mitigate infectious diseases via design and policy. His work is situated at the intersection of environmental microbiology, engineering, and human health. He and his team use environmental microbiology techniques to observe microorganisms in the built and natural environments. They use these observations along with quantitative risk assessment techniques to characterize health risks associated with human exposures mediated by the environment. When integrated with design and policy decision making, these techniques can be used to minimize the burden of infectious diseases on global health.

In conjunction with his research Dr. Bivins has spent significant time working across cultures including projects in India (2017 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar), Mozambique, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Jamaica. His research interests are informed by his professional practice designing hydraulic infrastructure including water distribution, wastewater collection, and stormwater systems. Dr. Bivins completed his PhD and master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to graduate school he worked as a consulting civil engineer in Savannah, GA and is a licensed Professional Engineer and Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Dr. Bivins is currently an Assistant Professor of civil and environmental engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dan Oerther
Daniel B. Oerther, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, BCES

Executive Director
American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists

Professor Daniel B. Oerther, PhD, PE, BCEE, BCES is the Executive Director of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists and a Professor of Environmental Health Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Dan earned his PhD from the University of Illinois, and he previously served as the Senior Science Advisor to the United States Secretary of State in the Office of Global Food Security. Dan is widely known for his discovery research in environmental biotechnology, his integrative research resulting in the nurse+engineer STEMpathy framework, his application research employing science diplomacy to support access to water and food security in developing communities globally, and his scholarship of teaching and learning including modified mastery learning. Dan is a three-time recipient of the Fulbright Award (India, Brazil, and the United Kingdom), and the only individual to be recognized as Board Certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, a Diplomate Laureate of the American Academy of Sanitarians, and a lifetime honorary Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.


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