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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2007 / 03 

Is it safe to drink the sewage? Presentation examines wastewater treatment concerns

March 29, 2007

John Novak, the Nick Prillaman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech and a nationally-recognized expert on wastewater treatment, will speak Wed., April 11, at 7:30 p.m., at Virginia Tech’s Owens Banquet Hall about current water and wastewater treatment issues that concern citizens. The lecture is free to the public and sponsored by Sigma Xi, the international honor society of science and engineering.

Persons wanting to speak with Novak may want to attend the 5:30 p.m. social hour and banquet and for details can contact Randy Wynne at (540) 231-7811. Novak, a faculty member at Virginia Tech for the past 26 years, conducts research in wastewater treatment, solid waste management, soil and groundwater remediation, and drinking water treatment.

He has received four awards for papers he has published over his career and recently received the 2007 Simon Freeze Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for his contribution to advancing the understanding of sludge dewatering processes and improving biosolids management. Biosolids are produced from organic residues left as a byproduct of the treatment of domestic wastewater in a wastewater treatment plant.

Novak has authored over 250 papers in journals and conferences, and served as the major adviser to more than 150 graduate students. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.