Oct 17, 2012

Water Environment Research Foundation Gives Large Award for Cutting-Edge Research

Dr. Nerenberg will use the award to conduct research that lays the path for implementing a new class of novel electron donors for nitrogen removal processes

WERF Endowment for Innovation Paul L. Busch Award Robert Nerenberg

On Oct. 2, 2012, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) awarded its largest prize for research that could dramatically decrease operational costs at wastewater treatment facilities. The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research has awarded the 2012 Paul L. Busch Award to University of Notre Dame’s Robert Nerenberg, Ph.D., P.E. Dr. Nerenberg will use the $100,000 Paul L. Busch Award to conduct research that lays the path for implementing an entire new class of novel electron donors for nitrogen removal processes. This research has the capability to provide a significant decrease in operational costs for some types of wastewater treatment plants. It may also lead to a reduction of the carbon footprint and environmental costs of achieving low-level nitrogen removal. This novel and high-impact research has the potential to completely change how nitrogen removal is accomplished.

Each year, WERF recognizes an outstanding individual or team of individuals whose ongoing efforts contribute significantly to water quality research and its practical application in the water environment, with the prestigious Paul L. Busch Award. The award carries a $100,000 grant from the WERF Endowment to support and promote work that will bring new benefits to the water quality community (utilities, industries, environmental firms) and the water-using public they serve.

WERF’s Paul L. Busch Award Selection Committee identified Dr. Nerenberg's work as feasible and able to demonstrate results and full-scale application quickly, currently one of WERF’s top priorities. In fact, Dr. Nerenberg is already moving his research forward with help from Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) in Virginia. WERF Subscriber Charles Bott, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, Research and Development Manager, Hampton Roads Sanitation District, states that “Rob is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic researchers in our field. He has worked on very interesting and novel projects, and designed his research program to perform fundamental research addressing very important questions. He has the rare ability to make sure that the outcome of his work is focused on practical problems and is relevant to our field. Through his quiet hard work and devotion to our profession, Rob has become a clear leader in the development of new wastewater treatment technologies that will serve our industry in the future.”