Kosson receives Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award

Professor David Kosson was honored April 8, 2010, at the Student Life Center during the spring faculty assembly.

David Kosson

Kosson, chair of civil and environmental engineering, received the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award from Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos.

“Nationally and globally, David has taken on a critical role of leadership in one of the greatest challenges facing us in the 21st century — environmental protection from hazardous waste.  For more than two decades he has advised the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency.  And to the great benefit of Vanderbilt students, he has provided campus leadership in advancing education and research on environmental protection,” Zeppos said.

The title is conferred upon a full-time faculty member, regardless of rank or school, for the development of significant new knowledge from research or exemplary innovations in teaching. The recipient carries for one year the title Joe B. Watt Distinguished University Professor and receives a $2,500 cash award and an engraved silver tray.

Kosson serves as the director of the Remediation and Risk Mitigation Technology Center of Expertise for the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation, known as CRESP. CRESP is a multi-university organization carrying out basic and applied research to improve the environmental restoration of the U.S. Department of Energy’s complex to produce and maintain nuclear materials.

Kosson also has and currently serves on advisory committees for the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council on the U.S. program for demilitarization of chemical weapons.

His collaborative work on coal combustion for energy use has resulted in the development of robust methodologies for the leaching assessment and the characterization of more than 70 coal combustion residues (CCRs). How CCRs are managed is an ongoing public and environmental concern as evidenced by the 2008 incident in Kingston, Tenn., when coal ash stored wet in a diked landfill operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority failed and surrounding acres were inundated with fly ash sludge. Kosson has served as a key consultant about this issue to the state of Tennessee.

Kosson received the 2009 ISCOWA Award given by the International Society for the Environmental and Technical Implications of Construction with Alternative Materials at the WASCON meeting in Lyon, France. Kosson was cited for 20 years of research and leadership in leaching assessment and test methods development as well as working with the USEPA and international agencies in adopting those techniques as part of environmental compatibility assessments.

The award was created to honor Chancellor Wyatt upon his retirement in 2000. The award is intended to recognize accomplishments that span multiple academic disciplines.