| AWWA recognizes Dr. Detlef R. U. Knappe with prestigious A.P. Black Research Award
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AWWA recognizes Dr. Detlef R. U. Knappe with prestigious A.P. Black Research Award

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has honored Dr. Detlef R. U. Knappe with its prestigious A.P. Black Research Award.

Dr. Knappe is a distinguished professor at North Carolina State University, where he has established an internationally renowned research program that studies adsorption processes for the removal of organic compounds in drinking water. His work with the characterization of emerging contaminants has led to findings that directly impact the protection of public health. 

As a leader dedicated to advancing fundamental understanding of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), he has published more than 25 articles on PFAS, either singularly or as part of powerful collaborations. His work has contributed data-driven research adding to the collective knowledge of this contaminant. Dr. Knappe leads and participates in multi-disciplinary research teams studying the impacts of PFAS on human health and potential treatment approaches to reduce human exposure to PFAS and other unregulated contaminants.

“Being selected for the A.P. Black Research Award is a wonderful surprise,” Knappe said. “I am elated and feel this is a great recognition for the excellent work of current and past members of my research group and for NC State University.”

He joined AWWA as a student in 1988 and attended his first AWWA conference in 1991. “I understand and do not take lightly what winning this award means,” he said. “I am grateful to the committee that selected me, my colleagues who supported my application, my teachers and mentors, and AWWA for their work throughout the water sector.”

The A.P. Black Award was established in 1967 in honor of Dr. A.P. Black to recognize an individual who has made outstanding research contributions to water science and water supply practices over their career.

The nine-person selection committee is comprised of members of the Water Science and Research Division under AWWA’s Technical and Educational Council. This group of volunteers and an AWWA staff member review the nominations and select the individual judged to be most deserving of the award.

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Established in 1881, the American Water Works Association is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most vital resource. With approximately 50,000 members, AWWA provides solutions to improve public health, protect the environment, strengthen the economy and enhance our quality of life.