• Deadline for submission is June 1, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 25, 2010 -- The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), through the Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research, is offering $100,000 to encourage researchers working in wastewater, water reuse, biosolids, stormwater, watersheds, and other areas to pursue groundbreaking research. Now celebrating its 10th year, the Paul L. Busch Award has supported some of today's most talented young researchers as they begin to forge a legacy of innovative research leading to practical solutions for water quality problems. The award is one of the largest in the water quality industry.
The Paul L. Busch Award is also a celebration of its visionary namesake, who left an enviable legacy of his own, built through a lifetime of work in environmental engineering, a commitment to volunteerism and mentoring, and a passion to support those less fortunate who nevertheless shared his dream of a life in the sciences. The world lost this mentor for water quality research in 1999, but his visionary spirit is alive and well in recent recipients who are already addressing many of today's growing concerns.
Although technology has the power to bring us closer together, it can also emphasize the great divide between those who have and those who must go without essential services such as sanitary sewers and effective wastewater treatment. Although many of these services are still out of reach or growing more difficult to maintain for many nations of the world, Paul L. Busch Award winners are working to harness new forms of energy to ensure the adaptability of wastewater treatment systems for generations to come. Recent awards are supporting the development of new technologies to harness renewable sources of energy, including microbial fuel cells that generate electricity while they treat wastewater. This could drastically transform the way we treat wastewater and address affordability and feasibility for developing nations by creating self-sustaining wastewater treatment facilities.
In 2009, Jaehong Kim, of Georgia Tech, received the Paul L. Busch Award for his work on a groundbreaking technology that harnesses ultraviolet radiation in sunlight to enhance the performance of sunlight disinfection processes used throughout the developing world. "This award gives researchers the freedom to explore new ideas that are riskier and therefore more exciting and hopefully more rewarding when successful," says Kim. He hopes that one day this technology will be an essential component to easily maintained onsite wastewater treatment systems, bringing effective wastewater treatment to millions. Without the support of the Paul L. Busch Award, his vital research could have languished.
The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research grants the award to an individual or team. Utilities, universities, environmental firms, and others conducting water quality research or engineering work are encouraged to apply. Applicants may self-nominate or be nominated by a third party.
Interested individuals or teams must submit their application to WERF by June 1, 2010. More information on the Paul L. Busch Award, including the application process, is online at www.werf.org/PaulLBusch
The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues.