Des Lawler, professor in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, has received the Charles R. O'Melia Distinguished Educator Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP). The award recognizes excellence in teaching, advising, mentoring, and research.
Lawler is the first recipient of this award named after Professor Charles R. O'Melia, who had a major role in the education of hundreds of students who studied environmental sciences and engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina, and Johns Hopkins University.
Throughout his career, Lawler has studied particle removal processes and more recently has been studying desalination and processes for the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. He served as the Secretary of AEESP for two years early in his career, and has been a board member of the Water Science and Research Division of AWWA for the past several years. He is a member of the Drinking Water Committee of the Science Advisory Board of the USEPA. Lawler has received several teaching awards at UT, including the UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award, and his contributions to research and education have been recognized with major awards by AWWA, WEF, and AMTA. His 75 M.S. graduates are productive throughout the water and wastewater field, and 14 of his 20 Ph.D. graduates are academicians.
The award will be presented at the Water Environment Federation's Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference in October 2012.