Published: May 1, 2020

R. Scott SummersProfessor R. Scott Summers was awarded the 2020 Charles R. O’Melia Distinguished Educator Award by the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors (AEESP). 

The annual award goes to a professor “who has a record of excellent teaching in the classroom and through graduate student advising; significant research achievements that have contributed to environmental engineering knowledge; and an outstanding record of influence through mentoring of former students and colleagues.” 

Summers was the director of the Environmental Engineering Program from 2013-19 and has been at CU Boulder since 1998.

His areas of expertise are adsorption and biological treatment technologies as applied to natural organic matter, disinfection by-products, trace organic contaminants, and taste and odor. For the last 15 years, he has researched water treatment technologies for small communities, both domestic and international. In the last five years, water reuse has become a focal point of his research.

Over the last 25 years, Summers has served as a principal technical consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulatory development and review process including the Microbial/Disinfection Byproduct Rule cluster, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council Arsenic Cost Working Group, the Lead and Copper Rule and Total Coliform Rule/Distribution System Advisory Committee. 

He has served on several other national and international advisory panels. In 2016, he presented to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology - Science and Technology of Alternative Water Sources in Washington, D.C. 


“The Charles R. O'Melia AEESP Distinguished Educator Award is one of the most prestigious awards a professor can receive from his or her peers.  Professor Summers has made amazing contributions to the environmental engineering profession – he is an excellent teacher, an exceptional advisor, and has contributed greatly to the understanding of environmental engineering processes. Perhaps most important is the lasting influence Scott has made on the profession through the teaching and mentoring of hundreds of students and colleagues. As one of Charlie’s former doctoral students, I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Scott.  I am sure Charlie would be extremely pleased.” said Bill Becker, Hazen and Sawyer Vice President and adjunct faculty at CU Boulder.

The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors is a nonprofit organization made up of professors in academic programs throughout the world who provide education in the sciences and technologies of environmental protection. The association assists its members in improving education and research programs, encourages graduate education, and serves the profession by providing information to government agencies and the public.

Summers will receive the award at the AEESP Meet and Greet on Oct. 5, held in conjunction with the WEFTEC meeting. WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation's Technical Exhibition and Conference, is an annual conference that offers continuing education and training to water quality professionals from around the world.