About Paul L. Busch

Aug 21, 2019

The Water Research Foundation Endowment honors Paul L. Busch, Ph.D. with this award because he so completely embodied the spirit of creativity, visionary thinking, and practical application of scientific research — a spirit that is essential to passing on a clean-water environment to future generations. He led private and public development of water quality technology for more than 40 years as an environmental engineer. He believed passionately in the importance of education and devoted much of his time to mentoring and promoting the next generation of environmental engineers. But more than anything, Dr. Busch pursued innovation in environmental management. He inspired those he worked with to examine familiar issues from new perspectives and to take new approaches to solving environmental issues. The purpose of engineering, as he saw it, was not just to build a better tool, but to build a better tool for the right reason.

One organization especially close to Dr. Busch's heart was the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), now the Water Research Foundation (WRF). He served as chairman of its Board of Directors in 1994 and 1995, and as emeritus chairman until his death in 1999. Through the foundation, Dr. Busch found an organization that sought to advance the state of water quality research and technology. He supported and fostered its mission with the same vigor and passion with which he had encouraged countless rising engineers and scientists. He helped to build the foundation's subscriber base and to find government funding for its programs.

Dr. Busch also used the foundation as a platform, as a "bully pulpit," to spread his message — a call for the environmental engineering community to move ahead and break new ground. He challenged engineers and scientists to devise new technologies for addressing ongoing issues of water quality, rather than relying on traditional solutions that owed more to the past than the future. To Dr. Busch, the foundation "was created to reinvigorate water quality research and to make research relevant to practitioners, legislators, regulators, and the public, in order to improve environmental decision making."

Dr. Paul L. Busch was a man of great integrity, of boundless enthusiasm and vigor. He was a man who loved his work, embraced it as an intellectual challenge, and saw in it the common good of building a better environment for all mankind. To this man, and to his vision of the future of water quality engineering, the WRF Endowment dedicates this award.

About the Award

The Paul L. Busch Award recognizes an individual for innovative research in the field of water quality and the water environment.