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The W. Brewster Snow Award

2020 W. Brewster Snow Award Recipients

Ashley Osler

Snow Award

Ashley Osler is enrolled in the M.S. Civil Engineering Program at the University of South Florida. There, she is also completing a concentration in Engineering for International Development that includes service as a water/sanitation engineer with the U.S. Peace Corps to gain technical experience and context to development work.

She holds a B.S. Civil Engineering degree from Gonzaga University. At Gonzaga, she was able to explore the intersection of social justice with engineering, and got her first exposure to international living during her time studying abroad in Florence, Italy.

At the University of South Florida, she was able to take classes in water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH) engineering, water resources, public health, and anthropology. This well-rounded curriculum allowed her to obtain research experience in the area of rainwater harvesting, modeling of nutrient flows in and out of Florida's largest lake - Lake Okeechobee, and looking into perceptions associated with the worsening Florida Red Tide blooms.

She is currently serving with the Peace Corps in Panama as a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene volunteer within the indigenous region of the Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé. She lives in a small community of about 200 indigenous Ngäbe people and is improving both her Spanish and indigenous language skills. While there for two years, she works with local community to support construction and operation of gravity-fed water supply systems and will also complete research for her Master's thesis. She is interested in researching acceptability and taste thresholds of water from chlorinated gravity-fed aqueducts in rural Panamanian communities.

Megan E. Patterson

Snow Award

Megan E. Patterson will earn her Master's degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources from The Ohio State University in May of 2020. Previously, she received a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from The Ohio State University.

Megan's Master's project created supplemental design criteria to the drinking water Ten State Standards for low-pressure membrane filtration, eliminating the demonstration study requirement for plan approval. This helps bridge the gap between engineering innovation and approval of technologies for drinking water treatment plants. She also established a framework to create design criteria for other emerging water treatment technologies which can make better technologies more cost effective and accessible for small and medium public water systems. Megan interacted with many stakeholders to develop these design criteria. She is chair of the committee established to provide updates to the design criteria, ensuring it does not become outdated as low-pressure membrane filtration evolves.

Megan is currently an Environmental Engineering Intern (EI) with Stantec Consulting Services. She is an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), serving on the Ohio Section's Young Professional and Membership Committees and contributing on national AWWA membrane committees. She plans to continue working in water and wastewater treatment while pursuing PE licensure.

Past Recipients




Monica C. Resto-Fernandez


Maria Briones


No recipient


Gregory Hinds, Advisor: Dr. Sarina Ergas


John Trimmer


Abhinav Gupta


Dustin Bales


Sarah Ness


John Maxwell

This award is given annually to recognize an environmental engineering graduate student who has made significant accomplishments in an employment or academic engineering project. The award consists of a plaque and a $250 cash prize. Nominees for this award must be enrolled part or full time in an environmental engineering graduate program pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering or a closely related degree program, or have completed a Master's in Environmental Engineering, or a closely related program, one year or less from January 1 of the year in which the Brewster Snow Award is presented. Eligible applicants will be judged based on academic program and 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 nomination form; (2) a transcript verifying that the student has achieved a minimum GPA of 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) in Master's degree program coursework; (3) Documented successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam; (4) Two academic letters of recommendation; (5) Evidence of active participation in a student or regular chapter of an engineering related professional society, or evidence of active participation in school, community, or organized religious activities; (6) An applicant prepared summary of accomplishment in an engineering project in the candidate's workplace employment if a part time graduate student or recently graduated Master's degree recipient, or an applicant prepared summary of accomplishment in a graduate engineering thesis, project, study or the equivalent approved by the student's major advisor or graduate coordinator (limit 1 page); (7) An applicant prepared statement of purpose in pursuing a Master's degree and goals for first 5 years of professional practice; (8) Any other evidence of merit, papers, honors, recognition, etc.

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

William Brewster Snow, Ph.D., P.E., DEE

William Brewster Snow was born in Durham, N.C. on November 22, 1910. Horace North and Sue Blake (Sheetz) Snow were his parents. He attended Morehead Grammar and Central High Schools in Durham.

He was educated in civil engineering at Duke University and was awarded a B.S. C.E. in 1932. Since the engineering department was initiated in 1927, he was one of the first students to have a Duke engineering degree conferred.

During the Great Depression period from 1934-37 he was employed as a rod man and then instrument man with the N. C. State Highway and Public Works Commission. Close to his 26th birthday, he married Edith Horne Leach on November 28, 1936. Brewster and Edith raised a son and daughter, William Brewster II and Sabin Tucker Snow.

From 1937-41, he served as Assistant Division Engineer and Registered Public Health Engineer with the GA Department of Public Health. He enrolled in the graduate program at Harvard University and was also an Assistant Engineer with Boston Consulting Engineer Samuel M. Ellsworth during the construction of sanitary facilities at Camp Edwards (Massachusetts) and the Naval Construction Training Camps at Davisville, RI. He was awarded the Masters of Science (Sanitary Engineering) from Harvard in 1942.

From 1943-46, he was an Acting Associate Professor Sanitary Engineering, School of Public Health, University of N. C., Chapel Hill, N.C. He served on the Program Committee and the instructional staff of the 1943 and 1946 Annual Short Schools of the NC Water Works Operators Association. During that period he performed graduate work at Harvard University and completed a ScD. (Sanitary Engineering) in 1948 with a thesis title "Biochemical Oxidation Demand of Chlorinated Sewage".

Dr. Snow was an Associate Professor Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering at Duke University from 1948-53. In 1950 he was appointed Marshal of Duke University. He was one of the founders of the series of conferences that guided the State of North Carolina's implementation of its State Stream Sanitation Law that was passed in 1951. While at Duke, Brewster participated in a summer sabbatical at Oak Ridge National Laboratory evaluating sanitary engineering processes for radioactive wastes. He was on the organizing committee for the First and Second of the Southern Municipal and Industrial Waste Conferences and spoke at the First in 1953 with a paper on "The Biochemical Oxygen Test as an Indicator of Pollution" and to the Sixth in 1957 with a paper entitled "Ultimate Disposal of Radioactive Wastes."

In 1953 he became Head and Professor of Civil Engineering and Sanitary Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. After serving as Chairman of the Department for three years he elected to step down from administration and concentrate on his stronger interest in teaching and research. To facilitate this move he hired Dr. Marvin Granstrom to succeed him.

He contributed five papers for technical journals and wrote two books, The Highway and the Landscape, 1959, B.F Sturtevant Company and On Maintaining A Trace of Residual Chlorine In Water Distribution Systems with John Charles Geyer, 1955, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. He initiated the annual New Jersey Parkway Authority conference dealing with highway and transportation engineering and participated in a summer sabbatical at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island working on nuclear waste management. Dr. Snow continued as professor until he retired in 1970.

During his academic career he was invited into the following honorary societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, Omicron Delta Kappa, Delta Omega.

Upon leaving Rutgers in 1970, he worked part time with the New York consulting firm of Lawler, Matusky and Skelly until 1975 providing quality assurance/quality control for a number of the firm's environmental reports. Throughout his career he had an unabiding interest in education of undergraduate and graduate engineers. For him, building tomorrow's engineers was more important than research.

His professional memberships included: A.S.C.E., A.P.H.A. (F), A.W.W.A., N.J. Sewage & Industrial Wastes Association., A.A.A.S., Sigma XI, A.S. E.E., N.J.S.PE., A.A.U.P. National Research Council (member Subcommittee: On water supply 1952-54). Brewster was also a member of the Mayflower Descendants.

In 1977, he established the Brewster Snow Endowment at Duke that is used for the enhancement of the environmental engineering program. The money was initially used for helping students in the summer and other non-restricted uses. In 1979 the William Brewster Snow Award was established and awarded continuously since then. It is given annually to the civil engineering graduate who has demonstrated academic excellence, interest and enthusiasm in the study of environmental engineering. He is also a past winner of the Duke University Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.

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