REQUEST FOR NOMINATIONS - Annually, each section of the American Water Works Association is requested to select a member of that section to receive the prestigious George Warren Fuller Award. This is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a water industry professional. While the deadline for nominations isn’t until the end of December, it isn’t too early to start thinking about who you would like to see receive this honor at the annual Section conference next March in Springfield. The nomination form can be accessed and submitted on line below.
QUALIFICATIONS - To qualify for the Fuller Award, the recipient must be a member of the Illinois Section AWWA. The award is intended to honor an individual for their distinguished service to the water supply industry in commemoration of the sound engineering skills, diplomatic talent and constructive leadership which characterized the life of George Warren Fuller.
HISTORY - George Warren Fuller was born in 1868 in Franklin, Massachusetts; graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1890; and worked for the Massachusetts State Board of Health for five years following a year spent at the University of Berlin working with the engineer of the Berlin water works. While with the Board of Health, Fuller was in charge of the Lawrence Experiment Station, working to develop ways to treat the growing volume of wastewater. At that time, the Station was recognized as the leader in research on the purification of water supplies and treatment of sewage in the country.
In 1895 Fuller was selected to take over the filtration experiments for the Louisville Water Company, where he studied the suitability of various processes that might prove adaptable to purifying turbid waters such as the Ohio River. The report of these studies opened up a new era of water purification practice and demonstrated the ability of coagulation and rapid sand filtration to handle muddy and highly variable waters. The studies demonstrated the importance of effective coagulation and sedimentation prior to filtration.
Following his research in Louisville, Fuller conducted similar experiments in Cincinnati before he established a consulting engineering firm in New York. During his 34 years of practice, Fuller advised more than 150 cities, commissions and corporations on major water supply and sewerage improvements. During his career he was chairmen of a board of experts advising the Sanitary District of Chicago regarding problems involved in disposing of its sewage, which ultimately led to the reversing of the Chicago River.
One of the most significant of Fuller’s characteristics was his belief in organization and his devotion to standards. As chairman of the Council of Standardization of AWWA, he was responsible for the successful publication of the Manual of Water Works Practice in 1925. Fuller is also a past president of AWWA.
George Warren Fuller was, first of all, a capable engineer, equipped with a mind that never closed a channel to new ideas. He was an inventive technician, first in the laboratory and later in engineering and design. He was a skilled negotiator, a public relations counsel who was able to persuade reluctant city officials that they were wise and right to authorize sanitary improvements. Upon his death in 1934, Fuller was honored for his "understanding, kindliness, sound judgment and tact.”
While George Warren Fuller’s career established a record that is difficult to equal, water professionals make contributions to public health and safety through their daily work. There is probably someone you have admired for their commitment to the advancement of the water industry; perhaps in a very small way, but nevertheless effectively.
The Illinois Section Fuller Award Committee is looking for worthy nominees to receive the 2015 George Warren Fuller Award. This page can be printed and filled in manually and faxed to 866-521-3591. Please include a descriptive paragraph with the reasons for nominating the person you have chosen.