NSF-AEESP Grand Challenges Workshops


                               NSF-AEESP Grand Challenges Workshop Series Final Report:
                       Redefining Environmental Engineering and Science in the 21st Century

The field of Environmental Engineering and Science has made incredible contributions to improving public health and quality of life over the past century, with particularly strong advances in drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, air pollution control, and contaminant fate and transport.  In recent years, however, this success has led environmental regulatory and funding agencies, to begin to reorient their focus toward addressing other environmental challenges, often in areas related to energy, climate change and broader questions of sustainability.

This shift raises important questions regarding how our field can and should respond to this changing landscape in terms of modifying both our research agenda and the ways in which we prepare our students.  This series of workshops, funded by the National Science Foundation, AEESP and several participating institutions, provided an open forum for discussing these issues while encouraging our community to think about how we position the field of Environmental Engineering and Science for maximum impact in the 21st century.

Dates and Locations:
Three workshops were held over the Spring of 2016 in locations designed to maximize the participation of the AEESP membership.  These included:

  • January 7-8, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
  • March 31-April 1, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • May 19-20, Virginia Tech campus, Arlington, Virginia

Faculty are the primary target audience for this activity, but members of the regulatory community, funding agencies and professional community were all welcome to attend, as were graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.  Limited funds were made available to support student and/or post-doc travel to these events.  For details please contact the AEESP Student Services Committee.



Dr. Gregory W. Characklis                Dr. Peter J. Vikesland                     Dr. Amy E. Childress
AEESP President                              AEESP President-Elect                   AEESP Former President
University of North Carolina              Virginia Tech                                 University of Southern California
at Chapel Hill                                   Dept. of Civil & Env. Engineering     Dept. of Civil & Env. Engineering
Dept. of Env. Sciences & Eng.           pvikes@vt.edu                              amyec@usc.edu

*A special thanks to the National Science Foundation and Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors for their generous support of these Workshops.