2023 Kappe Lecturer

kappelecturerDaniel H. Yeh, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, LEED AP


  • BSE Civil Engineering, University of Michigan, 1991
  • BS Natural Resources, University of Michigan, 1991
  • MSE Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 1994
  • PhD Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000


  • Professional Engineer (Georgia, EnvE)
  • Board Certified Environmental Engineer (Water supply/wastewater engineering), American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional, Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C) 
  • Visiting Professor, Bioregenerative Water Purification, NASA Kennedy Space Center.
  • Senior Member, National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
  • Member: International Water Association (IWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), WateReuse Association.

Awards & Recognitions

  • 2023, Kappe Lecturer, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES)
  • 2020, Patents for Humanity Award (for NEWgenerator), US Patent and Trademark Office
  • 2020, NASA KSC Sustainable Environmental Awareness (SEA) Award
  • 2014, 2019, USF Excellence in Innovation Award, Office of Research and Innovation (university-wide award)
  • 2019, NEWgenerator highlighted in MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2019, as one of the technologies to enable sanitation without sewers
  • 2016, Cade Museum Prize for Innovation, Sweet 16 semi-finalist (for ICARUS algae cultivation platform).
  • 2015, Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: India, one of six winning teams worldwide (w/ ESS, India)
  • 2015 Lettinga Award (for innovation in anaerobic biotechnology), Lettinga Foundation - finalist
  • 2014, Cade Museum Prize for Innovation, 1st Place (for NEWgenerator resource recovery machine)

Dr. Daniel Yeh is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida and the PI of the Membrane Biotechnology Lab. He is also a visiting professor at NASA Kennedy Space Center and co-founder of the cleantech startup BioReNEW, Inc. 

Dr. Yeh’s research and teaching interests are in water & wastewater engineering, global water & sanitation, water/energy/food nexus, and life support systems for space travel. Dr. Yeh is keen to communicate and promote environmental engineering to the public and school children through classroom lesson plans, museum exhibits, podcasts, TEDx and Pint-of-Science talks, and late night talk show comedy feature. Dr. Yeh holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BS Natural Resources, BSE Civil Engineering and MSE Environmental Engineering) and Georgia Institute of Technology (PhD Environmental Engineering). 

Dr. Yeh is a professional engineer, an AAEES board-certified environmental engineer, and a LEED Accredited Professional. He is also a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors and a two-time recipient of the Excellence in Innovation Award at USF.

Abstracts of Lectures Offered

Reinventing the Toilet for Global Sanitation: The NEWgenerator Resource Recovery Machine 

Billions of people worldwide suffer from poor sanitation due to a lack of wastewater infrastructure.  With high CAPEX and OPEX, the conventional approach of centralized wastewater treatment plants served by an extensive sewer system is not an option for many communities. A new classification of modular and pre-fabricated non-sewered sanitation systems (NSSS, ISO 30500) has been introduced as an onsite micro-infrastructure alternative. Developed at the University of South Florida, the NEWgenerator is a solar-powered, modular, automated wastewater treatment and recycling system capable of operating independently from grid power, piped water and sewer.  The core technology within the NEWgenerator is the anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR), capable of handling a wide range of wastewater strengths, intermittent flows, and prolonged shutdowns. The value proposition of the NEWgenerator is that it makes flush toilets possible in off-grid, remote locations. The NEWgenerator was a recipient of the 5th Cade Museum Prize for Innovation and the 2020 USPTO Patents for Humanity Award. This presentation will follow the two-decade journey of the NEWgenerator from concept to development to commercialization, including extended field trials in India (Kerala) and South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal). The presentation will also highlight initiatives to implement the NEWgenerator in disadvantaged communities in the U.S.

From TRL1 to TRL 4: Development of the ICARUS Floating Membrane Photobioreactor for Direct Algae Cultivation in Wastewater

Wastewater has been identified as a sustainable source of water and nutrients for the cultivation of microalgae to produce biofuel and bioproducts. However, wastewater is a relatively “dirty” environment with chemical and biological agents which contaminate crop purity. Further, ubiquitous grazers such as rotifers can decimate crop yields.  To address these issues, our team developed a cultivation method termed “Isolated Cultivation of Algal Resource Utilizing Selectivity (ICARUS).” ICARUS is a membrane photobioreactor platform that can be used to cultivate algae monocultures by floating directly on wastewater (e.g., surface of clarifiers) or other impaired water bodies. A bottom membrane panel mediates the exchange of water, nutrients, and gasses between the wastewater and algae culture, while servicing as a physical barrier between the algal crop and undesirable bioagents in wastewater. Laboratory and field results have shown that ICARUS can achieve a high crop density using wastewater directly as a feedstock, while maintaining crop monoculture purity. Further, as the culture densifies, ICARUS can self-dewater to facilitate crop harvesting. This presentation will chronicle the development of ICARUS from TRL1 proof-of-concept to TRL4 field prototypes. In additional to deployment at municipal wastewater facilities, ICARUS can also be integration with aquaculture operations in a circular economy framework

2023 AAEES Kappe Lecturer Schedule


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Previous Kappe Lecturers

2022 Wert, Wendy A. Brochure
2021 Dzombak, David A. Brochure
2020 Oerther, Daniel B. Brochure
2019 Love, Nancy G. Brochure
2018 Rood, Mark J. Brochure
2017 Reible, Danny D. Brochure
2016 Murthy, Sudhir Brochure
2015 Banner, Jay Brochure
2014 Neethling, JB Brochure
2013 Tchobanoglous, George Brochure
2012 Novotny, Vladimir Brochure
2011 Patterson, James W. Brochure
2010 Barlaz, Morton A. Brochure
2009 Surampalli, Rao Y. Brochure
2008 Brown, Jeanette A. Brochure
2007 Tekippe, Rudy J. Brochure
2006 Gilbert, Jerome B. Brochure
2005 Vasuki, N.C. Brochure
2004 Logsdon, Gary S.
2003 Lue-Hing, Cecil
2002 Crook, James
2001 Daigger, Glen T.
2000 Eckenfelder, W. Wesley
1999 Trussell, R. Rhodes
1998 Kuchenrither, Richard D.
1997 Albertson, Orris E.
1996 Whitman, Ira L.
1995 Okun, Daniel A.
1994 Ford, Davis L.
1993 Kavanaugh, Michael C.
1992 Touhill, C. Joseph
1991 Carroll, William J.
1990 Busch, Paul L.
1989 Schwartz, Jr., H. Gerard

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