About Paul L. Busch
The Water Research Foundation’s Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research supports an annual award named in honor of Paul L. Busch, PhD. Dr. Busch demonstrated creativity, visionary thinking, and practical application of scientific research—all of which are essential to ensuring a clean water environment for future generations. As an environmental engineer, he led the development of water quality technologies for more than 40 years. He believed passionately in the importance of education, and devoted much of his time to mentoring 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 challenges. 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 (now The Water Research Foundation). He served as chairman of the WERF Board of Directors in 1994 and 1995, and as emeritus chairman until his death in 1999. Dr. Busch valued the organization’s work 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 encouraged countless engineers and scientists. He helped to build the foundation's subscriber base and obtain government funding for its programs.
Dr. Busch also saw the foundation as a platform to spread his message—a call for the environmental engineering community to break new ground. He challenged engineers and scientists to devise new technologies for addressing ongoing water quality issues, rather than relying solely on traditional solutions. 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.”
He was a man of great integrity and boundless enthusiasm. 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. To this man, and to his vision for the future of water quality engineering, the Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research dedicates the Paul L. Busch Award.