April, 2011 Gordon Finch Scholarship Application - Now Available

May, 2010 Article courtesy of the Water Environment Federation

Life Members and YPs: Dedicated to the Profession

Being a part of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria Va.) is important to many members on both a professional and personal level. The relationship between WEF and its members is mutually beneficial; services and benefits available to members often inspire a sense of dedication and desire to be regularly involved in the federation, which in turn enables WEF to be a successful organization.

Members' dedication is apparent in both WEF's long-term members and newcomers to the organization.

Members Smith Small

Life Membership
WEF life member status is given to those who have been active members for at least 35 years and have reached the age of 65, but life member Dan Smith's dedication to WEF goes beyond even this remarkable achievement. Smith's relationship with WEF began when he joined as a student member in 1967. During his 43 years of membership, Smith has attended 30 annual conferences, participated in various committees, and, as a professor, sent many of his graduate students to WEF's annual conferences.

"I've developed a lot of friends, colleagues, and contacts all over the world from people I've met at the conferences," Smith said. While he was pursuing a master's degree in sanitary engineering at San Jose (Calif.) State University, Smith's advisor sent him to his first annual conference in New York in 1967. "It was a real eye-opener to me in terms of the depth of the field of wastewater engineering," he said. "Developing rules to not only protect public health but also the environment, that was all very appealing, and seeing it all exposed at the conference had a tremendous impact on me at that time."

WEF life member Dan Smith. Photo courtesy of Smith. Click for larger image.
Smith continued his education as a Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas (Lawrence) and attended another WEF conference in Chicago. In 1971, he became a full WEF member through the Alaska Water Management Association (Anchorage). Currently, he is a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta (Edmonton).

Educating students in the field is one of Smith's proudest accomplishments, and encouraging them to attend at least one WEF annual conference is a large part of their education, Smith explained. He hopes that the experience will expand their horizons as it did for him. "I think it's really important for the students to put a human face on this [wastewater engineering] work that they're working on," he said. "It's all made a tremendous impact on their vision of the field and understanding, in a real hands-on way, the scope of wastewater engineering."

"For me, the journal and the literature review in particular are extremely valuable in learning about new things that are happening," Smith said. He uses WEF's annual literature review as a teaching tool, asking graduate students to use what has been identified in the review as a base to start their research, he said. Also, he compiles all issues of Water Environment Research and makes them available for student research and will have students critique journal papers as an assignment.

Through the years, Smith has participated in WEF's Public Relations Committee, Program Committee, and Literature Review Committee; participated in specialty workshops for his local association; attended various WEF specialty conferences; and presented papers at WEF annual conferences.

Student and Young Professional Membership
WEF's young professionals (YPs) may be newer to the water quality field than life members, but their desire to be widely and consistently involved in WEF is no less apparent. Take, for instance, YP member Haley Falconer, who joined WEF as a student member in May 2006 and hasn't missed attending an annual conference yet. As an undergraduate at North Dakota State University (Fargo) pursuing civil engineering, she was approached by a fellow student to compete in WEF's student design competition. Since then, her involvement in WEF has grown.

At Falconer's second conference, she sat in on the Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) meeting and became interested in helping organize a proposed annual service project. After expressing interest to the SYPC, she soon became co-chair and now is chair of the project. "The nice thing about the Students and Young Professionals Committee is that if you show any interest in anything, you're given the responsibility to be a subcommittee lead or to help with a particular task," she said. "So you get to slowly get more and more involved and learn a lot about the organization."

Falconer received a master's degree in environmental engineering from Washington State University (Pullman) and started working at HDR (Omaha, Neb.) as water/wastewater project engineer in January. "Professionally, just being able to meet so many people has really opened up so many doors," she said. Contacts she made through WEF helped her get her current job, she added.

Haley Falconer
SYPC Community Service Project Chair Haley Falconer at the committee's 2009 community service project. Photo courtesy of Frank Crilley. Click for larger image.
As a part of the SYPC, Falconer gets to meet people with similar interests at a similar point in their lives and gets the ability to influence the way the group grows, she said. "I like being a part of the organization, being a part of the decision-making process and the direction that something's going to head," she said.

Falconer believes in the SYPC and loves that being involved keeps her motivated. "It's a way to keep things fresh," she said. "It's a way to know I really am giving back." She also has attended one YP Summit and WEFMAX meeting, and two regional WEF Member Association conferences, she said. For the future she wants to expand her involvement in WEF by looking for more technical ways to participate. She expects to continue as an active WEF member for the foreseeable future. "I don't see myself not being involved," she said.

March 29, 2010

International Joint Commission appoints a Director to the Great Lakes Regional Office

The International Joint Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Saad Jasim as Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office.

Dr. Jasim was the First CEO of the Walkerton Clean Water Centre and played a major role in establishing the Centre to make it a leader in the drinking water industry for training, education and research.

Prior to his work with the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, Dr. Jasim served as Director, Water Quality and Production for the Windsor Utilities Commission. He proposed, and successfully implemented ozone for drinking water treatment in Windsor, Ontario, making Windsor the first municipality to have water treated with ozone to all residents, and to the residents of two other municipalities.

Dr. Jasim has received awards for his work, including; the 2008 Emerald Award-Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 2004 Engineer of the Year Award-Professional Engineers of Ontario, the 2001 Meritorious Service Award from the American Water Works Association-Ontario Section, and the 1998 Business Professional of the Year, Windsor and District Chamber of Commerce. He has presented and published more than 60 papers on water quality and water treatment processes.

Dr. Jasim is an Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Western Ontario and Adjunct Professor at the University of Windsor and a member of the Council of the Great Lakes Research Managers, the International Joint Commission. He is also the Vice President of the Ontario Water Works Association; Chair of the International Ozone Association - Pan American Group; Director of the Board for the International Ozone Association, and member of NSF Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units-NSF International. Dr. Jasim is also a member on the AWWA Organic Contaminants Research Committee and the AWWA Plant Operations Research Committee. Dr. Jasim also is a member of the Board of Editors of Desalination, the international journal on the science and technology of desalting and water purification. Dr. Jasim received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Baghdad University, Iraq.

Congratulations to Dr. Jasim from the Pan American Group!

IOA Member Hans van Leeuwen Awarded 2009 R&D Innovator of the Year

Congratulations are certainly in order for our Hans van Leeuwen, who was just announced as having been selected as the 2009 R&D Innovator of the Year! FYI, the news story about this major award is given at the following ISU web URL: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2009/nov/innovator. As you may have heard, Hans was short-listed as a top-5 R&D 100 innovator last year, and with this latest recognition Hans now joins an extremely elite group of past recipients (i.e., Larry Page - the co-founder of Google, Burt Rutan - the developer of the SpaceShipOne vehicle, etc.).  


The Walkerton Clean Water Centre receives Ministry of the Environmental 2008 Emerald Award

Paul Overbeck

Prof. Phil Singer