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Brown and Caldwell biosolids expert John Willis elected to WERF Research Council

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., February 10, 2016 — Brown and Caldwell, a leading environmental engineering and construction firm, today announced that Vice President John Willis has been chosen to serve on the Research Council of the Water Environment Research Foundation for 2016-2018.

A nationally recognized biosolids expert, Willis has spent 25 years helping municipal utilities develop innovative solutions to combat inefficiency and maximize energy use. His groundbreaking work includes the first Class-A thermophilic anaerobic digestion facilities in the United States, innovative Class-A digestion and biogas-to-vehicle-fuel upgrades, as well as the application of thermal hydrolysis/digestion/gas-use for DC Water, Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia, and the city of Raleigh Public Works Department in North Carolina.

"I am very honored and excited about this appointment, particularly at this time when our industry is on such a tremendously steep learning curve,” said Willis. "We are improving how wastewater is treated to higher quality with lower energy and chemical investments. We are also producing valuable products; gaining a better understanding of our greenhouse gas emissions and how to reduce them; and improving the sustainability and economics required to achieve our mandate. It’s a very exciting time, and WERF is at the center of many of these advances!” 

Willis has served as principal investigator for several WERF research programs including Barriers to Energy Efficiency; Barriers to Biogas Use; WaterWatts; Conveyance Asset Prediction System; and Undocumented Sources of Methane from Wastewater Treatment and Conveyance research. He was also the principal investigator for EPA’s Technology Evaluation for Digester-Gas-Fueled Combined Heat and Power and served as chairman of the Water Environment Federation’s Bioenergy Subcommittee.

Willis, who works out of Brown and Caldwell’s Atlanta office, began his three-year term Jan. 1. Research Council members are technical advisors who provide oversight and coordination across the entire research portfolio, identifying and developing new research initiatives and making recommendations for funding allocations among the research areas. 


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