Denver — The International Erosion Control Association Region One (IECA) announced winners for its environmental excellence awards at the 2019 IECA Annual Conference and Expo.  The environmental excellence, outstanding professional of the year and sustained contributor awards recognize outstanding achievements in the erosion and sediment control and stormwater management industry.

Wes Zech, Ph.D. and his previous work with the Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility received the environmental excellence award. Claudia Chambers, CPESC, CISEC, QSP and Kym Kelley CPESC, CISEC, QSP both received the outstanding professional of the year award and DJ Brouwer, PE, CFM was the 2019 sustained contributor award recipient.

The environmental excellence award is IECA’s most prestigious award. This award recognizes an outstanding erosion and/or sediment control or stormwater management project, program or operation that demonstrates excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection.  This year’s award recognizes the Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility for their environmental stewardship within the construction industry by developing improved erosion and sediment control and stormwater technologies and practices; advancing knowledge through research and development, product evaluation and training.

Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility

Fellow professor, Michael Perez, Ph.D., CPESC, nominated Zech and the facility stating “key areas in which the facility is nationally recognized include ditch check practices, inlet protection practices, catch basins, sediment barriers and sediment basins. Their finding has helped rewrite erosion, sediment and stormwater control methods and requirements stipulated by the Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas.”

The outstanding professional award recognizes an IECA member that demonstrates excellence in their work and is viewed by IECA peers as an industry leader through significant engagement with IECA.  This year’s award recognized two industry professionals – Claudia Chambers and Kym Kelley who run Kelley Erosion Control (KEC). Nominated by industry peer, Julie Etra states “Chambers and Kelley have shown leadership in their field through guiding designers, specification writers and inspectors to adopt more successful and sensible methods, by following up on their work, and by installing demonstrations of various new technologies. KEC is one of the longest established erosion control contractors in the United States. KEC is known for quality, honesty, competency and innovative ideas.”

The sustained contributor award recognizes an IECA member who provides distinguished service to IECA and has made outstanding contributions to improve the erosion and sediment control and/or stormwater management industry. Winners have demonstrated leadership by example through long-term contribution to the industry and to IECA through one or more of the following: education, government involvement, research, establishment of standards or policies or the development of technology.

DJ Brouwer was recognized for his contributions to the South Central Chapter of IECA. “Brouwer joined IECA in 1999 and became a board member of the newly created South Central Chapter of IECA,” explained Philip Handley, REM, CPESC, CESSWI, immediate past president of the IECA South Central Chapter.  “Brouwer served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the chapter from 2000 to 2017. His knowledge of the by-Laws, processes, procedures, event coordination, tax law, etc., have been valuable and critical to the sustaining, progress and success of the chapter.

Educational awards were also presented at this year’s conference for the 2018 IECA Annual Conference presenter of the year to the presenter who received the highest classroom evaluation and the 2019 IECA most distinguished technical paper voted on by industry peers.  The presenter of the year was awarded to Dwayne Stenlund, CPESC for “Why are Inlet Protections BMPs so Difficult to Estimate and Implement Correctly?” His presentation addressed good and bad examples of inlet BMPs that were properly designed and installed based on project type, phase of work and time of year.  The most distinguished technical paper award was presented to J. Blake Whitman, MS, Auburn University; Wesley Donald, Ph.D., CPESC, Auburn University and Wes Zech, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham for their paper “Full-Scale Performance Evaluations of Innovative and Manufactured Sediment Barrier Practices.” The paper provided an analysis of various perimeter control products, materials and performance capabilities and limitations of multiple sediment barrier practices.

“I’d like to congratulate this year’s award winners. I was excited to read about the contributions our nominees made in their fields and communities,” states IECA executive director, Samantha Roe, IOM. “I can’t wait to see how next year’s nominees impact our industry and we will be introducing more awards to recognize our members for their accomplishments. Stay tuned for details.”

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