By Molly A. Seltzer
Z. Jason Ren, professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, has been awarded the 2020 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the highest-level mid-career research award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Ren was recognized for “producing groundbreaking technological advancements that are transforming water infrastructure for energy and resource recovery.” The award is given annually to individuals who have made achievements and contributions in research with respect to all disciplines of civil engineering.
Ren is well known for his work in understanding microbial and electrochemical processes that have enabled critical advancements in wastewater treatment, resource recovery, water desalination and related fields. His work provides practical insights and solutions on how to transform wastewater treatment plants from energy-intensive, carbon-emitting systems, into energy-generating carbon sinks that actually remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Ren was recently awarded grants from Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop technologies for food waste and CO2 valorizations. The ASCE noted that Ren’s “leadership in pilot-scale applications and entrepreneurial start-ups makes him a model of university-industry partnership.”
Ren joined the Princeton University faculty in 2018 from the University of Colorado Boulder, and he is currently serving as the interim director of the Andlinger Center, and as associate director for research at the center. He will be honored during ASCE’s Annual Convention in October in Anaheim, CA.