Awards were presented for papers, posters, individuals and projects at the San Antonio event
The 2013 American Membrane Technology Assn. (AMTA)/American Water Works Assn. (AWWA) Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition drew almost 1,100 attendees Feb. 25 to 28, 2013 in San Antonio. The four-day event included four pre-conference workshops, a fully occupied exposition, presentations of technical papers and posters, networking sessions and plant tours.
Over the course of the conference, awards were presented to exceptional papers, posters, individuals and projects in the membrane technology field.
The award for Best Paper went to “RO Concentrate Treatment and Reuse to Achieve Sustainable Water Management Schemes for Industrial Facilities Located in Arid, Water Scarce Regions,” presented by Jim Lozier of C2HM Hill Inc., with co-authors Mike Hwang and Ralph Williams.
Two winners were chosen for Best Student Papers.
Brian Coday, a student at the Colorado School of Mines, won for his paper, titled “Evaluating Membrane Performance in Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes: Enhancement of Testing Methods for Industrial Wastewater Treatment Applications.” Coday studies under Associate Professor Tzahi Y. Cath, Ph.D.
Anwar Sadmani of the University of Toronto also won for his paper “Nanofiltration of Pharmaceutically Active and Endocrine Disrupting Compounds as a Function of Compound Interactions with Surface Water Components.” Sadmani studies under Robert C. Andrews, Ph.D.
Both students received a plaque and $1,500 award.
Best Poster was awarded to Fredrick Vance of Kemira Water Solutions Inc. Vance presented his poster, “New Investigations for Silica Fouling Control,” at the poster session on Feb. 26.
A number of awards were presented at the Awards Luncheon on Feb. 27.
The award for Plant of the Year went to the city of Boca Raton, Fla., for its nanofiltration plant, which is the largest in the world. The 40-million-gal-per-day plant operates without the use of pretreatment chemicals. The city was honored for its dedication to educating plant operators, as well as innovations in its operating procedures.
The annual Robert O. Vernon Operator of the Year Award was presented to Judy Adams, chief operator for three Brownsville, Texas water treatment plants. Adams was recognized for her leadership in enabling operators to find solutions to meet the new 0.010 mg/L arsenic maximum contaminant level. Adams has served in the position for eight years and is a member of AMTA and officer of the Rio Grande chapter of AWWA.
Bob Yamada of the San Diego County Water Authority was named Water Quality Person of the Year. Yamada was awarded for his support of the recently approved Carlsbad Desalination Project.
Ben Mohlenhoff of Aerex Industries Inc. and Hany Said, formerly of Biwater, were inducted into the AMTA Hall of Fame.
Mohlenhoff has been involved with membrane treatment process, design, systems manufacturing, installation, commissioning, training and technical service for 33 years. His experience includes process design and technical review of more than 200 membrane treatment systems. He was also recognized as recognized for his active leadership and participation in AMTA and the Southeast Desalting Assn.
Said began his desalting career with Envirogenics rolling reverse osmosis membranes. Later he helped developed the first gas separation membranes. In 1989, he co-founded American Eng. Services. In 1994, he founded AEWT, which is now part of the Biwater group.
Two National Water Research Institute/AMTA Fellowships for Membrane Technology were also presented at the awards ceremony.
Jason Arena of the University of Connecticut was awarded for his work on “Modification of Thin Film Composite Membrane with Polydopamine for Improved Support Layer Hydrophilicity to Enhance Performance in Forward Osmosis.”
Michelle Marincel Payne of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was awarded for her work on “Biomimetic Membranes for Desalination: Insertion Efficiency and Stability of Aquaporin Proteins in Synthetic Membranes.”
Each received a $10,000 fellowship to be applied toward graduate work. Both recipients will return to the 2014 AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference  in Las Vegas to present their work.
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