W. Wesley Eckenfelder Graduate Research Award

2014 Recipient: Maureen N. Kinyua

Advisor: Sarina Ergas, University of South Florida

Maureen N. Kinyua was born and raised in Nyeri, Kenya. She received a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the North Dakota State University in Fargo. She then moved to Tampa Florida where she received her Master's in Science in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. Ms. Kinyua has continued with her passion for research as she is currently a student pursuing her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. Her research is focused on the waste to energy technologies, quantitative microbial risk assessment and nitrogen recovery and management systems for both the developing and developed world. She recently finished an exchange program between University of South Florida and the Institute for Chemical Technology in Prague Czech Republic, where she investigated low temperature nitrogen removal. She will be presenting this work at the 11th IWA-Leading Edge Technology 2014 conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has published her research on waste to energy in the journal Bioresource Technology and has also presented this work at various prestigious conferences. Moreover, Ms. Kinyua's professional interests include: international development, women empowerment and global education. Ms. Kinyua enjoys volunteering with local NGOs in Tampa Florida and has also volunteered with international NGOs in Nicaragua and Kenya.

Past Recipients





Maureen Kinyua

Sarina Ergas, University of South Florida


Roland Cusick

Bruce Logan, Pennsylvania State University


Xie He

Francois de los Reyes, North Carolina State University

This award is given annually to recognize a student whose research contributes to the knowledge pool of wastewater management. The award selection will be based on original, innovative research of publishable quality and other factors as provided below.

Both Master’s and Ph.D. students are eligible. The award will consist of a plaque and a cash honorarium of $1,500.00 for the student and a plaque for the major faculty advisor. A $500.00 travel allotment to student recipients who attend the AAEES awards ceremony will also be provided. This award selection committee is administered jointly by AEESP and AAEES, and is co-sponsored by HDR. Eligible applicants will be judged based on academic program performance (45%), professional or community service (15%), engineering project accomplishment (25%), purpose and goals (10%), and any other evidence provided (5%).

Electronic nomination packages should include:

  1. A letter from the faculty advisor of the applicant, indicating that the applicant has completed all substantive requirements for the graduate degree sought, and has earned a minimum GPA of 3.3/4 in the current program,
  2. Documented successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam,
  3. Two academic letters of recommendation, detailing the contributions of the research to the profession,
  4. Copy of a publication (or manuscript submitted for publication) derived from the subject research for which the applicant is the first author – 25 page limit,
  5. A professional resume of the student applicant, listing all professional affiliations, publications, honors, service, and relevant experience, and
  6. An applicant prepared statement of professional purpose in pursuing the graduate degree and goals for the first five years of professional practice – (limit 500 words).

An applicant remains eligible up to one calendar year following graduation and receipt of the degree earned.

For more information on the W. Wesley Eckenfelder Graduate Research Award, go to https://aeesp.org/awards/eckenfelder-graduate-research.

Questions may be directed to the chair of the AAEES Foundation Awards Committee:

Christian Davies-Venn, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Vice President
PEER Consultants, P.C.
888 17th Street, NW, #850
Washington, DC 20006
e-mail: daviesc@peercpc.com; Tel: 202-478-2060

Professor Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr. is considered the “godfather” of industrial wastewater management. He was a great colleague and mentor to numerous practitioners, professors, and students. His prolific contributions to the environmental engineering discipline included writing over thirty books, serving as a principal in several environmental engineering firms, and receiving twenty-eight awards from a wide range of professional societies. In addition, Dr. Eckenfelder was an accomplished professor with a teaching career that included positions at Manhattan College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Vanderbilt University. He was known internationally as an early developer and innovator of biological treatment technology that is now considered a standard skill employed by practicing professionals, worldwide.

Information on where to submit a nomination package can be found here: http://www.aeesp.org/awards/eckenfelder-graduate-research.

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