Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named a Fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).
He joins the fourth class of Fellows for the 53-year-old organization with members in academia and the profession of environmental engineering and science. The honor recognizes members who have served AEESP and the profession for at least 15 years. The individuals who receive the honor include members who have exhibited exceptional long-term excellence in environmental research, teaching, or service to the environmental engineering and science community.
“The list of Fellows includes many of the people I have looked up to as the premier leaders in the field and also many friends I have known for many years and worked with on AEESP efforts and activities,” Burken says. “Being mentioned in the same group with these leaders is humbling and an amazing honor.”
Burken joined AEESP as a doctoral student and has been a member for 22 years. He has been active on many committees, was elected to the AEESP board of directors in 2008 and was board president in 2011-12. He currently leads the new AEESP Environmental Engineering Program Leaders Committee.
“In all of the activities with AEESP, I was very fortunate to work with great people, including being on the board with Bill Cooper, program director of environmental engineering at the National Science Foundation, who nominated me for this honor,” Burken says.
Cooper, also a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California-Irvine, was named a Fellow in 2014. In all, there are 18 AEESP Fellows.
Burken helped establish Missouri S&T’s bachelor’s program in environmental engineering in 2002. In 2009, he established the Green Campus Committee, now known as the Strategic Sustainability Planning Committee, and he led efforts to establish the Chester and Evelyn Baker Greenhouse. During his time at Missouri S&T, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, including four cover features in top journals in environmental engineering and technology. Currently serving as the interim chair of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering department at Missouri S&T, Burken joined the S&T faculty in 1997 as an assistant professor of civil engineering. He was named associate professor in 2002 and professor in 2008. In 2015, he was named as a Curators’ Professor at Missouri S&T.
The other 2016 Fellows are Jim Mihelcic of the University of South Florida, Catherine Peters of Princeton University and Mark Rood of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.