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2013 Outstanding Young Alumna

annika bankston

Annika M. Bankston (MSEHE 1997)

Established in 2003, the Outstanding Young Alumnus/Alumna award recognizes a graduate of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering department under the age of 40 who has distinguished himself or herself with outstanding service and contributions to the engineering profession and community.

The department’s 2013 Outstanding Young Alumna is Annika M. Bankston (MSEHE 1997). She is Superintendent of Water Plant Operations & Maintenance for the Minneapolis Public Works Department and is responsible for the production and delivery of high quality drinking water for the city.

After rising through the city’s public works management structure, she now oversees the operation and maintenance of the Minneapolis’ water treatment plants, pumping stations, residuals processing, storage reservoirs, water quality laboratory, and other miscellaneous facilities. Within the Water Treatment and Distribution Services Division, she guides capital planning and the asset management program.

Prior to joining the utility, Bankston was a Project Engineer at Malcolm Pirnie, where her work included membrane feasibility studies and pilot testing, and the design of a filtration plant upgrade. The City of Minneapolis employed this expertise to become one of the first US cities to install ultrafiltration membranes on a large scale in lieu of granular media filters into a water treatment process. Bankston was enlisted by the City to assist with this major change.

“The challenges required by this implementation required a superb knowledge of water chemistry and particle removal process, not to mention the ability to work well with a huge variety of people, from equipment suppliers to water plant operators,” says former advisor Des Lawler. “Annika’s entire job is one of public service.”

Bankston also engages University of Minnesota researchers in a collaborative effort to improve the City water treatment system. The university is helping to investigate the use of granular activated carbon filter adsorption units.

Additionally, she is heavily involved with the American Water Works Association, at national and state levels, serving on two committees whose focus is on membrane treatment. Also the mother of two young children, she served as technical advisor in a theater production designed to educate the community about water issues.

For more information about this award or to read about past recipients, please visit our Outstanding Young Alumni page.

Questions? Please contact Alumni Coordinator Laura Klopfenstein via email or at (512) 471-1279.