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CCEE’s Dr. Francis de los Reyes, Amanda Mattingly win Rudolfs Industrial Waste Management Medal from WEF

Glenn E. and Phyllis J. Futrell Distinguished Professor #2 Dr. Francis de los Reyes and recent CCEE graduate Amanda Mattingly (MSENE 2021) won the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Rudolfs Industrial Waste Management Medal for their paper “Does Bioaugmentation of Aerated Stabilization Basins Work? Lessons from Field Scale Trials with a Control.” They will be awarded the medal at the 2022 Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) on October 8-12 in New Orleans.

The award, established in 1949 and named after industrial waste researcher Willem Rudolfs,  recognizes noteworthy accomplishments in any aspect of industrial waste management research published in WEF Conference Proceedings or a Federation periodical. The paper, which was presented at the 2021 WEFTEC, was based on Mattingly’s M.S. thesis and reported the results of a study that examined the effect of bioaugmentation (adding biological products to improve performance) to full-scale lagoons treating pulp mill wastewater.

De los Reyes said the study was unique in that “the system used was a real full-scale plant operating under real conditions, true controls in space (separate reactor that was not bioaugmented) and in time (same reactor when bioaugmented and not) were used, and molecular techniques were used to determine the changes in microbial populations.

“The results show minimal effects of bioaugmentation in improving bioreactor performance under real conditions,” he said.

“This research makes an important contribution to decreasing the environmental damage from paper manufacturing, a leading cause of water pollution worldwide,” said Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, head of CCEE. “It illustrates the major contributions that CCEE’s faculty and students are making to protecting the health of the environment.”

“WEF is proud of these members for their valuable research, which contributes broadly to water management and is critical to the future of the water sector,” says WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe. “WEF also appreciates our members’ accomplishments in promoting awareness and understanding of water issues through public education initiatives. Additionally, we are excited to support the professional development of operators, who are truly the backbone of our sector.”