Pavlostathis awarded Fair Medal for his contributions to engineering education

Professor Spyros Pavlostathis, who is this year's recipient of the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal from the Water Environment Federation.

The Water Environment Federation will honor Professor Spyros Pavlostathis this fall for his decades of work developing the next generation of water engineers.

Pavlostathis will receive the Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Medal, the organization’s most prestigious award for educators and something he said is deeply meaningful to him.

“For me, the medal is recognition of an over 30-year academic career in teaching and research, devoted to the preparation of future engineers to address current as well as emerging challenges in the water environment,” he said.

The Fair Medal honors educators who teach the technical skills necessary for engineers, but also go further, inspiring their students to use that knowledge to “preserve and enhance the environment for the benefit of all,” as Pavlostathis put it.

“Knowing well the competitive nature of the Fair Medal, I am humbled and, of course, honored to be joining the ranks of colleagues in environmental engineering who have received this award,” he said. “I would like to thank John Koon for putting together the nomination, as well as my past graduate students, practicing engineers, and the leadership of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, who provided letters supporting my nomination.”

Pavlostathis is widely recognized for his work using biotechnology and bioprocess engineering to clean up contaminated natural systems and treat municipal and industrial wastewater. He serves on the federation’s Research and Innovation Committee and the editorial board of the group’s journal, Water Environment Research. He was among the inaugural group of Water Environment Federation Fellows in 2011.

Pavlostathis is the second School of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty member to receive the Fair Medal. Professor, and now Professor Emeritus, F. Michael Saunders was the 2005 honoree.