Borchardt-Glysson Water Treatment Innovation Prize Awarded to Detlef Knappe

Detlef Knappe has been selected to receive the Borchardt-Glysson Water Treatment Innovation Prize. Knappe is the S. James Ellen Distinguished Professor of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) at NC State University.

Receiving the Borchardt-Glysson Water Treatment Innovation Prize is a tremendous honor that serves to recognize a professional whose accomplishments in the water or wastewater treatment fields have been particularly influential. Knappe will accept the Prize at the 26th triennial Borchardt Conference on May 23-24, 2023, where he will also give a lecture on “PFAS, 1,4-Dioxane, and Other Unregulated Contaminants in the Cape Fear River Watershed of North Carolina: Community Impacts and Interventions to Reduce Human Exposure.”

Dr. Knappe’s research focuses on source water protection by identifying contaminants through targeted and non-targeted analyses and on the development of treatment approaches for the remediation of regulated and unregulated contaminants. At NC State, he led the CCEE research team that helped uncover the presence of GenX, a synthetic chemical, and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River. Knappe serves as deputy director of NC State’s Center for Environmental and Human Health Effects of PFAS, is a member of NC State’s Center for Human Health and the Environment and has also collaborated with several water utilities in Michigan on PFAS removal from drinking water.

“The City of Ann Arbor is only one of many utilities who have been positively impacted by Detlef’s work,” said Dr. Rebecca Lahr, Water Quality Manager of the City of Ann Arbor and a member of the Borchardt Organizing Committee. “As a result of our pilot and full-scale testing of PFAS removal in collaboration with Detlef and his team, we were able to optimize our filtration process and achieve water quality that is better than Michigan’s PFAS regulations require. As EPA releases proposed drinking water standards for PFAS this year, I have no doubt that utilities will look to Detlef’s work on treatment alternatives and continue to benefit from his work for years to come.”

The Borchardt-Glysson Water Treatment Innovation Prize selection committee used five criteria to evaluate the candidates, including their overall record of accomplishments, their role in developing innovative technologies, their potential for continued contributions to the field, the quality of nomination and supporting documents, and the added leadership and prestige to the Borchardt Conference.

This prize consists of a $10,000 cash award and reimbursement for travel to attend the Borchardt Conference. It was established in 2017 through a generous gift by Tom (BSE CE ’60, MSE ’61) and Greta Newhof to the College of Engineering of the University of Michigan. The donors chose to recognize Professors Borchardt and Glysson by selecting the name of the prize.

Jack A Borchardt (1916-1987) was a Professor of Civil and Sanitary Engineering at U-M from 1948 until his retirement in 1982. He devoted his life to his students, to the university, and his profession of sanitary engineering. Professor Borchardt was a devoted educator, a technical innovator in the water and wastewater treatment field and a promoter of public health.

Eugene A. Glysson (1926-2014) was a professor in the U-M Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for over 40 years. He performed research and taught classes in solid-waste management and water and wastewater engineering. He was known for his devotion to students, the engineering profession and community service including Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society.

The University of Michigan Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; the Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association; the Michigan Water Environment Association; and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy are proud to co-sponsor the Borchardt Conference. A diverse group of scientists, engineers, and students will present their work with an emphasis on applied research and real life experiences in water engineering. Conference registration is now open.