AEESP 2023 Workshop Schedule



Workshops are planned for the first three days of the conference – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday June 20, 21, and 22, 2023.

Tuesday June 20 – AM Workshops

Careers in Environmental Engineering & Science after Graduate School

Organizers:  AEESP Student Services Committee

Description:  The AEESP Student Postdoc Services Committee (SPSC) plans to continue the tradition of conducting career-oriented workshops for graduate students and postdocs. This workshop will be divided into three timed sessions. The workshop will be conducted as an interactive panel discussion with members representing various career paths available to environmental engineers and scientists after their graduate degrees: academic, national lab, consulting, government positions, and entrepreneurship. The panelists will share their own experience in their respective career paths and the audience will have a chance to ask questions to panelists. Each session will have its own discussion and Q&A, moderated by SPSC members.

Recommended attendees:  Students & Postdocs

Community Engaged Research (CER) 101: The Basics

Organizers:  Lupita Montoya, ADVANCE SPACES; Andrea Ferro, ADVANCE SPACES; Justin Hutchison, University of Kansas; Jose Cerrato, University of New Mexico

Description:  An AEESP 2019 workshop recommended creating communities of practice (CoP) and action in Community Engaged Research (CER). In 2022, AEESP commissioned the formation of a CER Taskforce to: 1) gather and summarize best CER practices in environmental engineering and science; 2) identify existing CER working groups and CoP for CER; 3) evaluate mechanisms for conducting and evaluating CER; and 4) provide a framework for developing a CoP for CER at AEESP. At this workshop, the Task Force will provide an update on its activities and share resources for faculty interested in integrating community engagement into curriculum and research. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to attend CER 102 (Wednesday AM).

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Revising Engineering Courses to include Global Challenges in Achieving Sustainability

Organizers:  Cliff Davidson, Syracuse University; Rebecca Hardin, University of Michigan; Susan Powers, Clarkson University; Jianpeng (Jim) Zhou, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Description:  Environmental engineers are positioned to lead a major change in the way engineering is taught: all disciplines of engineers need to account for impacts of engineering decisions on the functioning of natural systems. Since the well-being of human civilization depends on the health of our planet’s systems, our role as teachers of future environmental engineers demands that we incorporate sustainability considerations in our courses. In this workshop, we will assist current and future teachers of environmental engineering to introduce concepts and examples of sustainability in their courses.

Recommended attendees:  Faculty & Educators

Mid-career Mentoring in Leadership Development

Organizers: Tim Vadas, University of Connecticut; Kurt Pennel, Brown University; Caitlyn Butler, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Description: Leadership plays an important role in responding to global challenges and part of our goal in this workshop is to develop leaders that have environmental engineering and science perspectives and goals in mind. This workshop is meant for those AEESP members that are interested in exploring leadership roles, hearing perspectives from others that have been leaders or have gone through leadership training, and helping develop a personalized mentoring program to support their goals.

Recommended attendees:  Tenured faculty

Evolving from “Best Practices” to “Best Partnerships”: the Ethics of Wastewater-Based Surveillance when Supporting Community Health

Organizers:  Cresten Mansfeldt, University of Colorado Boulder; Devrim Kaya, Oregon State University and San Diego State University; Deborah Sills, Bucknell University; Devin Bowes, Boston University; Amanda Darling, Virginia Tech

Description:  Wastewater-based surveillance (WBS) has rapidly developed as a complementary epidemiological tool in the management of respiratory infectious diseases. At the same time application and interest in this technique potentially outpaced capacity building surrounding the engagement and partnership with the surveilled communities. However, this community connection is critical for the ongoing success and acceptance of WBS and is highlighted when reviewing concerns for implementation. Therefore, this workshop will provide a forum for AEESP attendees to broadly discuss the application of WBS through an ethical lens to refresh and strengthen interest in establishing and maintaining community engagement.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Preparing for the NSF CAREER Proposal

Organizers: Phil Larese-Casanova, Northeastern University

Description: This workshop will provide advice and guidance on how to prepare for and submit an NSF CAREER proposal, including a panel with previous awardees, interaction with NSF program officers, and ample opportunity for Q&A.

Recommended attendees:  Assistant Professors & Postdocs

Tuesday June 20 – PM Workshops

Defining Pathways for Solving Environmental Challenges using Machine Learning

Organizers:  Amy Mueller, Northeastern University; Branko Kerkez, University of Michigan; Kate Newhart, West Point; Huichun Zhang, Case Western University

Description:  Machine learning techniques, in concert with an exponentially growing availability of data, have the potential to enable game-changing innovation in how we think about and approach environmental, infrastructure, and societal challenges. Leveraging these tools in a way which ensures results are trustworthy is critical, particularly given taxpayer funding and effects of decisions on communities. However, the most pressing current challenge facing our discipline is the lack of meaningful ML environmental studies (work is being done but frequently with only shallow knowledge of the ML pipeline or of the environmental significance and implications). The workshop will work toward a framework for asking the right questions to develop well-rounded studies leveraging ML tools.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

“Level up” your Teaching Practices with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Organizers:  Nick Tooker, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Colleen Kuusinen, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Jessica Wilson, Manhattan College

Description:  A growing body of research on student learning in engineering is being produced by instructors conducting systematic research studies in their courses. Known collectively as Scholarship on Teaching and Learning (SoTL) or Discipline-Based Educational Research (DBER), such inquiries not only provide us with actionable evidence to improve the quality of learning and teaching in our classrooms, but also provides an avenue to improve inclusivity in the classroom. However, getting started in SoTL or DBER can be intimidating for faculty. This workshop is intended to provide an onramp for faculty who are interested in improving teaching practices.

Recommended attendees:  Faculty & Educators

Meet the Editors

Organizers:  Loretta Fernandez, Northeastern University

Description:  This workshop will provide an introduction to various journals and publishers in the environmental engineering and science fields. Editors will answer questions about the journals, discuss the submission and review processes, and provide attendees with advice on how to increase the likelihood of publication.  List of attending editors to be updated as the event approaches.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Quantitatively Integrating Meta’omics Approaches into Environmental Engineering and Science Research

Organizers:  Juliet Johnston, Georgia Institute of Technology; Rose Kantor, University of California Berkley; Christopher Lawson, University of Toronto; Fangqiong Ling, Washington University in St. Louis; Ameet Pinto, Georgia Institute of Technology; Jacob Price, Stroud Water Research Center; Ryan Ziels, University of British Columbia

Description:  High throughput meta-omics methods are used to investigate microbial community structure and function in environmental engineering research. While this makes the microbial world more accessible, robust, and coherent data interpretation is not straightforward. Further, the technologies underpinning these methods are also changing at a rapid pace; this can make choosing hypothesis-appropriate methodology also very challenging. The key objective of this workshop is to outline best practices for method(s) selection, implementation, and data interpretation for quantitative microbial community structure and function characterization.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Impacts Beyond the Academy: Effectively Leveraging Research and Expertise for Public Policy

Organizers:  Drew Story, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jason Ren, Princeton University; Holly Mayton, University of Pennsylvania; Colleen Naughton, University of California Merced; David Cwiertny, University of Iowa

Description:  This interactive workshop is for faculty, scholars, and students who want their research and expertise to be used in public policy. Greater engagement beyond the academy is critical for providing a return to society for its investment in publicly-funded research, and public policy is one realm beyond the academy where such engagement by environmental engineering and science (EES) scholars can have significant impact. This workshop will provide participants with training and resources to effectively engage in public policy and advance the mission of AEESP to “increase equitable societal impact of environmental engineering and science scholarship.”

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

The Next Professional Challenge for AEESP: Mobilizing Our Universities for Education on Energy Use, Carbon Emissions, and Climate Change

Organizers:  Bruce Logan, The Pennsylvania State University; Wei Peng, The Pennsylvania State University; Mim Rahimi, University of Houston; Brandi Robinson, The Pennsylvania State University

Description:  The environmental engineering community has taken on grand challenges over the past century, starting with wastewater treatment and sanitation, and then a series of topics over the years to mitigate pollution including water treatment and disinfection, hazardous chemicals and subsurface pollution, and emerging pollutants. Our next challenge is addressing CO2 and other greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel use and land use changes. Transformation of our energy and carbon infrastructure will require that universities better educate students entering the workforce now as the impacts of climate change will dominate their professional careers.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Wednesday June 21 – AM Workshops

Best Practices for Achieving Tenure and Promotion

Organizers:  Qiang He, University of Tennessee; Andrew Jackson, Texas Tech

Description:  This workshop will consist of a panel of experienced diverse faculty to discuss typical topics pertinent to the tenure and promotion process. Advice from professors from a variety of programs and positions (teaching focused and research focused) will be available.

Recommended attendees:  Faculty & Postdocs

Community Engaged Research (CER) 102: Building a Community of Scholars in CER

Organizers:  Lupita Montoya, ADVANCE SPACES; Cesunica Ivey, University of California Berkeley; Shakira Hobbs, University of California Irvine; Andrea Ferro, Clarkson University; Cliff Davidson, Syracuse University

Description:  This workshop follows up on a recommendation that emerged from a previous workshop (AEESP 2019) to create communities of practice and action in Community Engaged Research (CER). This is the second of two workshops proposed for 2023. CER 102 will provide focused training beyond CER 101, “The Basics”. CER 102 seeks to build a community of scholars with those actively engaged in CER as well as those interested in understanding and promoting the proper valuing of CER. This workshop is led by the new ADVANCE SPACES (Strategic Partnership for Alignment of Community Engagement in STEM) team.
Participants are encouraged, but not required to attend CER 101 (Tuesday AM).

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Integration of Inclusive Teaching Practices for Neurodiverse Students in Engineering

Organizers:  Marisa Chrysochoou, University of Connecticut

Description:  Neurodiverse students, such as those with ADHD, autism, or dyslexia, often have strengths including divergent thinking and risk-taking, pattern identification and systems thinking, and 3-D visualization and global thinking. While these strengths may be assets in engineering fields, these students continue to be underrepresented in engineering programs. Current teaching methods weed out neurodiverse learners who, despite their potential to contribute to innovation in the field, often struggle within the traditional engineering classroom environment. This workshop aims to foster an inclusive environment for neurodiverse learners by encouraging the adoption of a strengths-based approach toward neurodiversity within the engineering education environment.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources: Challenges and Needs at Regional and Global Scale

Organizers:  Yang Deng, Montclair State University; Dionysios (Dion) Dionysiou, University of Cincinnati; Virender K. Sharma, Texas A&M

Description:  A changing climate is a global stressor on water supply with substantial uncertainty. Compounded with other stressors (e.g., urbanization) and extreme events (e.g., natural disasters), it can produce profound impacts on water availability and quality across time and scales. Here two questions ought to be answered. How does a changing climate threaten water supply in terms of water quantity and quality? Meanwhile, how can environmental engineers and scientists mitigate the climate impacts to safeguard water security/sustainability at regional and global scale? This will provide a scientific forum for the community of AEESP to discuss the pressing challenges, explore innovative solutions, and identify key research directions.
Activities: the workshop sessions will be grouped into two areas: 1) impacts and challenges of climate crisis on water availability and quality on regional and global scales; and 2) solutions to climate impacts for water security and sustainability. Both areas will include panel discussions, keynote presentations, breakout discussions, and brainstorming sessions to retrospect the lessons learned, share the state-of-the-art knowledge, and discuss different strategies to solutions.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Equity in the Job Search: Tools to Successfully Navigate the Academic Job Search and Promote Equity in STEM

Organizers:  Bridget Hegarty, Case Western Reserve University; Desiree Plata, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Description:  As those from groups historically excluded from STEM navigate the jobs search, they must overcome the implicit biases that impacts them throughout their careers. Despite this, discussions of bias and career advice are often relegated to separate forums, with discussions of bias rarely connected to practical professional development recommendations. To rectify this, we propose a half-day workshop to expose attendees of all backgrounds to the pervasiveness of bias, particularly in the context of the job search. We believe that this event will serve a critical function at AEESP: empowering groups underrepresented in STEM in their job searches and involving more stakeholders in the conversation to realize equitable institutions.

Recommended attendees:  Graduate students & Postdocs

Thursday June 22 – AM Workshops

Earth Systems to Anthropocene Systems: An Evolutionary, System-of-Systems, Convergence Paradigm for Interdependent Societal Challenges

Organizers:  John Little, Virginia Tech; Amro Farid, Stephens Institute of Technology; Kasey Faust, University of Texas Austin; Megan Harris, Virginia Tech; Lynn Katz, University of Texas Austin; Megan Rippy, Virginia Tech; Lauryn Spearing, University of Illinois Chicago; Peter Vikesland, Virginia Tech; Xiong (Bill) Yu, Case Western.

Description:  Humans have made profound and irreversible changes to the Earth. The resulting societal challenges of the Anthropocene (e.g., climate change, renewable energy, infrastructure, disasters, pandemics, food insecurity and biodiversity) have causes, interactions and consequences that cascade across a globally-connected, system of systems (SoS). Although we need conceptual strategies and computational tools that enable us to evaluate synergies and trade-offs across multiple systems, current approaches are ineffective and counterproductive. To integratively address these interdependent societal challenges we need an evolutionary SoS approach with a common framework and scientific language, requiring a major transformation in our approach to science and engineering. This workshop will introduce participants to an SoS framework for addressing large-scale challenges of the Anthropocene including research needs, pedagogy, decision-support system, and applications at city and regional scales.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Chinese American Professors in Environmental Engineering and Science (CAPEES) Award Ceremony and Workshop on International Collaboration

Organizers:  Shihong Lin, Vanderbilt University; Xing Xie, Georgia Tech; Tiezheng Tong, Colorado State University; Yang Yang, Clarkson University; Shouliang Yi, National Energy Technology Lab; Zhenyu Tian, Northeastern University; Jingqiu Liao, Virginia Tech

Description:  Organized by the association of Chinese American Professors in Environmental Engineering and Science (CAPEES) with the collaboration of the Government Affair Committee (GAC) of AEESP, this workshop aims to provide a forum for discussion on international collaboration between US scholars and international scholars/institutions. Many environmental challenges, such climate change, pollutions, and biodiversity, require collaborative efforts toward global solutions. However, international collaborations across many disciplines are facing growing challenges. This workshop will cover opportunities and challenges of international collaborations on addressing global environmental issues. CAPEES and GAC plan to invite speakers and panelists from academia, university administration, and federal funding agencies to share their knowledge and insights on maintaining and promoting healthy international collaboration within compliance.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

Enhancing Participatory Equity in the Classroom using Data Analytics and Self-reflection

Organizers:  Matthew Verbyla, San Diego State University; Daniel Reinholz, San Diego State University

Description:  Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions have long been stereotyped as white and masculine. Subtle and overt forms of discrimination exist in STEM classrooms, potentially discouraging participation by students who are minoritized based on their race, gender, and disability status. Increasing participatory equity, which implies having a fair and uniform distribution of participation opportunities by all students, can help increase the retention of diverse populations of STEM students, ultimately helping to diversify the STEM workforce. This workshop will provide participants with strategies to attenuate participatory inequities in their own classrooms and an opportunity to create a community of practice.

Recommended attendees:  Open to all

New NSF Funding Opportunities: Partnership for Innovation and Mid-Career Advancement (MCA)

Organizers:  Debora Rodriques, NSF; Jesus Soriano Molla , NSF; Samir Iqbal, NSF

Description:  This workshop aims to present funding opportunities at NSF from the new TIP directorate. This workshop will present the opportunities for funding in the PFI (partnerships for innovation) program, as well as the requirements in the solicitation. In this workshop, we will also discuss funding opportunities for mid-career faculty through the PFI-MCA partnership.

Recommended attendees:  Faculty, Postdocs, & Professionals

Environmental Engineering Program Leaders (EEPL) Workshop

Organizers:  Andrew Jackson, Texas Tech; John Sutherland, Purdue University

Description:  The Environmental Engineering Program Leaders (EEPL) Workshop is the annual meeting of faculty who lead undergraduate and graduate environmental engineering programs/ concentrations. The meeting serves as a forum to discuss current topics of concern or interest and to allow the EEPL committee to report to the community on any activities conducted during that year. The meeting is organized by the AAESP EEPL committee.

Recommended attendees:  Faculty & Professionals

For any questions please contact Workshop Committee Chair Loretta Fernandez at