Busch Award Provides $100,000 for Water Quality Research

Utilities, universities, environmental firms, and others conducting water quality research or engineering work are encouraged to apply.

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.

The Paul L. Busch Award has provided $1 million in research funding over the past decade to some of today’s most talented young researchers. The award is a celebration of its visionary namesake. With a commitment to volunteerism and mentoring, and a passion to support those less fortunate, Busch challenged himself and others to turn great ideas into practical water quality solutions for all to share.

In 2010, Columbia University researcher Kartik Chandran received the award for his work on an autotrophic microbial reactor that converts methane, found in biogas, to methanol. The technology could help wastewater treatment plants reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and provide a cost-effective carbon source to enhance biological nutrient removal. But it is beyond the treatment plant, in developing countries and remote villages, where Chandran’s reactor could see its most lasting benefits. Chandran envisions its use in conjunction with existing onsite treatment systems. The reactor could transform methane released from human and livestock waste into needed cooking fuel and a valuable commodity for local villagers.

"It is this ability to dream big, this belief in the transformative power of science to change lives, that is the hallmark of the award," said WERF Executive Director Glenn Reinhardt. "In just a matter of years it has furthered research that will shape the course of our industry for decades to come."

The award is granted 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, 2011. More information on the Paul L. Busch Award, including the application process, is online at www.werf.org/PaulLBusch.

Source: WERF

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