Arizona State University faculty members Paul Westerhoff and Amy Landis have won national awards from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).

Westerhoff is the recipient of the association’s Frontier in Research Award. Landis has won the Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science.

Westerhoff is a professor and Landis is an associate professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Westerhoff is also the associate dean for research for the Fulton engineering schools.

Paul Weserhoff award

Engineering professor Paul Westerhoff. Photo: Jessica Slater/ASU

The AEESP awards committee selected winners from “an especially large number” of nominations of highly qualified engineers and scientists, according to one of the organization’s award announcement letters.

The association is recognizing Westerhoff for outstanding contributions to water-treatment technologies and study of the potential impacts of nanomaterials in water on ecosystems and human health.

Westerhoff “is defining the frontier of the environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology,” Rice University civil and environmental engineering professor Pedro J. Alvarez wrote in support of Westerhoff’s nomination for the association’s award.

Westerhoff is also noted for important work in identifying the characteristics and the impacts of organic matter in water. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed research papers in areas that are the focus of his work and holds five patents related to those areas of expertise.

He also maintains extensive research partnerships with some of the environmental engineering industry’s leading consulting companies, and with water utilities in major urban areas in the Southwest.

He has aided cities and utilities in developing and implementing new technologies for water treatment.

Fellow ASU engineering professor Bruce Rittmann noted in the award nomination that Westerhoff is also showing exemplary leadership “as he redirects and revitalizes the research infrastructure in engineering at ASU.”

Amy Landis award

Associate engineering professor Amy Landis. Photo: Jessica Slater/ASU

AEESP is recognizing Landis not only for her teaching of environmental and sustainable engineering at ASU, but at the K-12 level, community colleges and other universities.

In recent years Landis has earned five educational excellence awards and more than $800,000 from such sources as the National Science Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to support her education research and outreach efforts focusing on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

She has developed a program to help teachers integrate learning experiences and concepts of environmental engineering and sustainability into courses in other branches of engineering.

Landis is producing innovative designs for learning experiences that can be adapted to classroom, laboratory and field-work environments, says Rittmann, who led her nomination for the AEESP award.

In addition to her mentorship and advising of many students, Landis also mentored a chapter of the national Society of Women Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh and now co-mentors the ASU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

In 2011, she was among a select group of young academics chosen to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium.

In 2012, she was one of the first to be named an ASU Diane and Gary Tooker Professor in Engineering Education Innovation. The Tooker endowment provides for designated faculty members to lead education outreach efforts to strengthen K-12 students’ interest in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Landis “is one of our top educators and her passion for innovation in engineering education is visible in everything she does, as well as in the students she mentors,” says professor Paul Johnson, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

The AEESP, founded in 1963, has more than 700 members in universities throughout the world. Westerhoff and Landis will be formally presented their awards during the organization’s 50th anniversary conference in July in Golden, Colo.

The AEESP Frontier in Research Award won by Westerhoff is sponsored by ARCADIS, a major international engineering, design and management company in the fields of water, environment, infrastructure and building.

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