Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania


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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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Keynote Session

The Keynote Session is the official start to the 2019 conference.  Join us Monday, November 11 at 11:15 am for the presentation of the annual awards; the Annual Award of Merit, and the Paul Cohen Award.

We are also pleased to have Charles Fishman, Author of “The Big Thirst” as our 2019 Keynote Speaker.

Keynote Speaker

As a reporter, Charles Fishman has tried to get inside organizations, both familiar and secret, and explain how they work. In the course of reporting about water to write The Big Thirst, Fishman has stood at the bottom of a half-million-gallon sewage tank, sampled water directly from the springs in San Pellegrino, Italy, and Poland Spring, Maine, and carried water on his head for 3 km with a group of Indian villagers. Fishman’s previous book, the New York Times bestseller The Wal-Mart Effect, was the first to crack open Wal-Mart’s wall of secrecy, and has become the standard for understanding Wal-Mart’s impact on our economy and on how we live. The Economist named it a “book of the year.” Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism. Fishman grew up in Miami, Florida, and went to Harvard. He lives outside Philadelphia with his wife, also a journalist, their two children, their two Labradors, and their two parakeets. He likes his water from the refrigerator spigot, with ice, or splashing across the bow of a Sunfish.


Lead Keynote Sponsor: OLI Systems, Inc.

Keynote Sponsor: Bowen Engineering Corporation, ResinTech, Inc., and RETEGO Labs


The Annual Awards are presented to celebrate the following achievements in the water treatment industry. Awards are presented in the following categories:

Annual Merit Award
Each year, the International Water Conference presents the Annual Merit Award to honor outstanding individuals in the field of industrial water technology. This year’s Merit Award Winner is William Kennedy, P.E. Mr. Kennedy currently works for Stantec and is a frequent participant at the IWC, and participates on the IWC Executive Committee.

Paul Cohen Award
As a memorial, to Paul Cohen and his contributions to the power generation industry, the IWC is proud to recognize the authors of the most precise and innovative presentation in the field of power systems water technology that was presented at the 79th Annual IWC. This year, we honor Kevin Brown for his presentation of IWC 18-32: Decreasing Filterable Iron Levels in an Air-cooled Condenser at a Combined Cycle Power Plant.

First Time Presenter and Overall Best Paper Award
These awards are to be presented annually to an IWC presenting author (or authors) who best exemplifies the goal of clearly communicating new information, or a new understanding about a significant aspect of water use or water chemistry, or best enhances the knowledge that enables effective utilization of water in industry or another use that benefits humanity. To that end, the IWC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 awards.

The First Time Presenter Award Winner is Rebecca Chapman from Frontier Water Systems for the presentation of IWC 18-59: Overcoming Challenges in Biological Treatment of Selenium Containing Wastewaters by Advancements in Bioreactor Design.

The Best Overall Paper Award Winner is Shannon Brown from Monsanto for the presentation of IWC 18-40: Learnings from Phased Installation of a Permeable Reactive Barrier for Mine Water Treatment.