The Kappe Lecture Series was inaugurated by the Academy in 1989 to share the knowledge of today's practitioners with tomorrow's environmental engineers and scientists. It is an annually recurring series of lectures presented on college campuses during the Fall academic term. This focus enables it to complement the lecture series sponsored by the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, which brings renowned research engineers to universities in the Spring term.
The Academy's Awards Committee chooses lecturers from the practicing engineering community in the year preceding presentation of the lectures. An abstract of the lectures offered and a biographical profile of the lecturer is circulated to universities teaching environmental engineering together with an invitation to host the Kappe Lecturer. From among those universities expressing interest, the Awards Committee typically selects up to ten host universities. Host university responsibilities include payment of a nominal fee and publicizing the lecture to ensure widespread exposure of the lecturer to the academic and surrounding professional community.
This program was inspired by a grant from the estate of Stanley E. Kappe, P.E., DEE, who served as the Academy's Executive Director from 1971 to 1981. This grant funded an endowment, which is used, in conjunction with fees from participating universities, to reimburse the lecturer's travel costs and pay incidental program expenses.