Frederick George Pohland Medal

2019 Frederick George Pohland Medal Recipient:

Pohland Medal Recipient

Spyros G. Pavlostathis, Ph.D., BCEEM
Professor, Environmental Engineering
Georgia Tech

Dr. Spyros G. Pavlostathis is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. A recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, Dr. Pavlostathis completed his MS and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Cornell University after obtaining his Diploma in Agricultural Engineering at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. He is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer Member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), and a Fellow of International Water Association (IWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Dr. Pavlostathis is internationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of environmental biotechnology and bioprocess engineering for the bioremediation of contaminated natural systems and the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater, as well as the kinetics, modeling, and simulation of bioprocesses. His research includes bioenergy and biofuels; bioavailability, fate and biotransformation of recalcitrant organic compounds; the biotransformation of emerging environmental contaminants; disinfectant-induced antibiotic resistance; as well as microbial fuel cell and bioelectrochemical technology.

Dr. Pavlostathis has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and authored over 200 publications including books or book chapters. Dr. Pavlostathis has organized or chaired over 45 conferences and conference sessions and frequently serves as a consultant, invited speaker and panelist on behalf of city, county, state and federal agencies in the US and abroad. An active member of several professional organizations, Dr. Pavlostathis has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Environmental Engineering, Water Science & Technology (Guest Editor), Biotechnology Letters, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Water Environment Research, and Water Quality Research Journal.

Dr. Pavlostathis is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including: Greek National Scholarship Foundation; French Government Scholarship; Fulbright Scholarship; Kassimati Foundation Scholarship; Dutch National Science Foundation Fellowship; Water Environment Federation/Georgia Water & Pollution Control Association Laboratory Analyst Excellence Award; Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Best Paper Award; Georgia Institute of Technology/School of Civil & Environmental Engineering Sustained Research Award for Excellence in Environmental Research and Archival Publications; Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK; Marie Curie Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; the Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Georgia Institute of Technology, Outstanding Faculty Award; Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal, Water Environment Federation.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Pavlostathis has been a dedicated educator of future environmental engineers, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Committed to the mission of teaching, he remains actively engaged in the development of curriculum and is involved in the advisement of both graduate and undergraduate engineering students. In recognition of his experience and high standing in the education of aspiring engineers he has been invited to give over 40 short courses and lectures both nationally and worldwide. He has served abroad as an evaluator of engineering curricula and programs, as well as an external thesis reviewer. Through his research activities, he has mentored 20 post-doctoral fellows and visiting scholars, 17 Ph.D. and 24 MS students, who have gone on to work in consulting, state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as academia, and provided many research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Past Winners

Previous distinguished recipients of this honor include:




Charles B. Bott, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


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


Glen Daigger, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


Morton Barlaz, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


C. P. Leslie Grady, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


H. David Stensel, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


Michael K. Stenstrom, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


John T. Novak, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


David W. Jenkins, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


Louis J. Thibodeaux, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


Makram Suidan, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


George Tchobanoglous, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


C. Herb Ward, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


Raymond C. Loehr, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE


R. Rhodes Trussell, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE

About the Frederick George Pohland Medal

This award honors an individual who has made sustained and outstanding efforts to bridge environmental engineering research, education, and practice. Only members of AEESP and/or the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) are eligible to receive this award. The award will consist of a medal, a $1000 cash award, and reimbursement of travel costs of up to $1,000 for travel to the award ceremony.

Nominations must be made by members of AEESP and/or AAEES. Nomination packages should include: (1) a cover letter from the nominator; (2) a full curriculum vitae for the nominee; (3) and at least two, but not more than five, additional letters of recommendation. Past nominations will be carried over and considered for three years and can be modified during this period.

Dr. Frederick G. Pohland (1931-2004) was Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Professor and Edward R. Weidlein Chair of Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Fred's research led to fundamental advances in anaerobic processes. He received numerous honors and awards and was the author of more than 150 technical and scientific publications. Dr. Pohland was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 for advancing the theory of anaerobic treatment processes and applications to solid waste management. Committed to applying research to practice and disseminating vital information, Dr. Pohland founded and chaired International Water Association (IWA) Specialist Committees to bring together practitioners, researchers and educators. Fred Pohland was a valued colleague and very dedicated to advancement of the profession of environmental engineering.

Questions may be directed to the chair of the AEESP Awards Committee:
Dr. Robert Nerenberg
Associate Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
University of Notre Dame
e-mail:; Tel: 574-631-4098

AAEES and AEESP thank the Pohland family and other donors to the Frederick George Pohland Memorial Fund for their generosity in establishing this award.

Information on where to submit a nomination package can be found here:

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