Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education (E4)

The E4 Award will be granted to an educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession in the area of educating practitioners. The award will be jointly administered by AAEES and AEESP and will be bestowed annually at the AAEES Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science™ (E3S) Awards Luncheon and Technical Conference. A monetary award of $1,000 with an additional $500 for travel by the award recipient to the annual E3S ceremony will be granted to the winning nominee.

Examples of significant contributions include:

  • Development of educational material or text that enhances the ability of students to succeed as professional environmental engineers serving as practitioners in roles such as infrastructure design and project leadership.
  • Demonstration of successful course or curricula development aimed at educating practitioners. Successful deployment of the Environmental Engineering Body of Knowledge concepts.
  • Creation of unique methods or curricula that challenge and inspire students in the area of environmental engineering practice.
  • Demonstration of successful student educational outcomes (examples include: letters of support/nomination from former students currently practicing environmental engineering, former students passing PE, former students showing leadership as practitioners, critical projects that former students have led).
  • Establishment of positive student mentoring relationships or programs.
  • Contributions to the profession in terms of activity in professional organizations, delivery of lectures, and interaction with public agencies and the consulting community to bridge the gap between university education and environmental engineering practice.
  • Open to all university faculty teaching environmental engineering.

Nomination packages should include: (1) a brief cover letter from the nominator; (2) brief curriculum vitae (4-page maximum) for the nominee, (3) documentation related directly to the award criteria consisting of no more than 30 pages, (4) one (minimum) to five (maximum) letters of recommendation from current or past students; and (5) one (minimum) to three (maximum) letters of recommendation from faculty, administrator, or industry peers. Past nominations will be carried over and considered for three years and can be modified during the current nomination period.

Information on where to submit a nomination package can be found here: http://www.aeesp.org/awards/e4.

Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Winner

2015 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education Recipient

Dr. Larry Nies

Dr. Larry (Loring) Nies is Professor of Environmental and Ecological Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

He has been teaching Sustainable Engineering at Purdue since founding the courses in 2002. He is a licensed Professional Engineer. His consulting work involves water treatment, wastewater treatment and water and carbon footprint assessment. His research interests span across macro-scale human systems down to nano-scale molecular processes. For more than 20 years, he has studied the fate and effects of anthropogenic chemicals in microbial ecosystems including a focus on the molecular genetic characterization of the structure and function of microbial communities. Currently techniques developed by his students are being used in industry to evaluate bioremediation at petroleum contaminated sites and in research settings to assess the effects of nanomaterials on biological systems.

More recently, Dr. Nies has been studying how to transform industrial and urban systems toward a sustainable trajectory. The watershed scale analysis of water resources reveals many vulnerabilities and opportunities to practice holistic management schemes to promote ecological health and economic prosperity.

Dr. Nies is engaged in the emerging area of life cycle and end-of-life management of products that are capital, energy, and material intensive. The recovery of material and energy value from waste or manufactured products at the end-of-life is necessary to maximize environmental and economic benefits.

Past Recipients




No recipient


Dr. Larry Nies


Dr. Daniel B. Oerther


Dr. John T. Novak


Dr. George Tchobanoglous

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