Published: June 21, 2023

Evan ThomasProfessor Evan Thomas was selected to receive the 2023 Steven K. Dentel Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Award for Global Outreach. This prestigious award recognizes his outstanding contributions and leadership as a faculty member through involvement in environmental engineering and science outreach activities to the global community. The AEESP presented the award to Dr. Thomas on June 21, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Professor Thomas is the Director of the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering & Resilience, the Global Engineering Residential Academic Program, and the CU Boulder Climate Innovation Collaboratory, and holds the Mortenson Endowed Chair in Global Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a tenured full Professor jointly appointed in the Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering and the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Departments, and an affiliate faculty in Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. He is currently a member of the NASA and USAID SERVIR Applied Sciences Team, a member of the board of the Millennium Water Alliance, and Co-Chair of the ASME Engineering for Global Development Research Committee. 

Dr. Thomas is a pioneer in creating solutions to global challenges. He was a featured speaker at the 2023 TedxCU where he talked about how he and his team at the University of Colorado Boulder are disrupting the status quo. ​They have developed sensor and analytical technologies to continuously monitor water services combined with the first-ever methodologies and projects to earn financially self-sustaining carbon credit revenue from drinking water treatment. Supported by USAID, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the World Bank, and with venture backing and project finance, Dr. Thomas' team has already reached over seven million people in Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia with improved water services.

In March, 2023, Dr. Thomas was in Rwanda where he and the Mortenson Center team launched the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering & Resilience/Virridy Amazi Mesa school-based water treatment program using the LifeStraw and internet connected flowmeters. His work there provides another example of how climate financing contracts can sustain these kinds of interventions and support climate resilience. Dr. Thomas was also the lead editor on the newly issued report by the State of Colorado titled: Emerging Technologies to Improve Water Resource Management in Colorado. The report looks at how digital technology tools can be deployed to significantly enhance the monitoring, conservation, and distribution of major water sources like the Colorado River and improve water resource management in the Western United States; it was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.