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.
This year’s recipient for the Illinois Section was Tom Skelly. Tom has worked tirelessly on behalf of the
Section and is an avid proponent of AWWA and the principles of safe drinking
water. Perhaps there is someone you
know, like Tom, who goes beyond the expectations of their job on behalf of the
water industry. This is the type of
person who should be nominated. While the
deadline for nominations isn’t until December 31, 2013, 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 at www.isawwa.org.
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.
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 2014 George Warren Fuller Award.
Nominate someone now online