WERF's Paul L. Busch Award Offers $100,000 for Innovative Water Quality Research

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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 celebrates innovation," says WERF Executive Director Glenn Reinhardt. "It gives researchers pursuing new, creative solutions an outlet for their work, and provides some much-appreciated visibility and encouragement.

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.

As one of the largest awards in the water quality industry, 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. Without its support many of them would have been unable to transform their dreams into practical solutions for the water quality community – such research is often just far enough ahead of the curve to be overlooked by traditional funding sources.

"The Paul L. Busch Award celebrates innovation," says WERF Executive Director Glenn Reinhardt. "It gives researchers pursuing new, creative solutions an outlet for their work, and provides some much-appreciated visibility and encouragement."

The Paul L. Busch Award is also a celebration of its visionary namesake, who through a lifetime of work in environmental engineering never lost sight of the power of dreams, and big dreams at that. 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. The world lost a true innovator in 1999, but his visionary spirit is alive and well in recent recipients who are already addressing many of today’s growing concerns.

The recipient of the 2011 Paul L. Busch Award was Volodymyr Tarabara, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University. Tarabara is using his award to begin concept validations that could lead to use of multifunctional membranes for a range of processes. The focus of his research centers on applying concepts from nanoscience to create new water, wastewater, and water reuse treatment technologies.

"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," says 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, 2012. More information on the Paul L. Busch Award, including the application process, is online at http://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.

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