Dr. Francis de los Reyes III named as 2021 WEF Fellow

Dr. Francis L. De Los Reyes III

Dr. Francis de los Reyes III, professor and University Faculty Scholar, has been named a 2021 Fellow of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). De los Reyes is among 15 Fellows recognized for their contributions to the water industry and professional achievements. 

“WEF’s work is critical, today more than ever, as we face global challenges of water scarcity, climate change, emerging threats to water quality, and inequitable access to clean water and sustainable sanitation,” de los Reyes says. “WEF’s many members and groups lead the technical approaches to meeting these challenges. In particular, I look forward to WEF becoming a stronger voice for nontraditional approaches to wastewater treatment, including advocating for decentralized systems when appropriate. I think the global inequity in sanitation ( about 4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet in their home, or whose wastes are not properly treated) is a driving force for organizations like WEF to become more vocal in advocating for solutions for underserved populations.”

WEF President Lynn Broaddus says that this year’s Fellows “join a growing group of water-sector innovators that help to ensure our industry remains fresh, dynamic, and able to adapt to any challenge for public health and the environment that may emerge. WEF is proud to count the newest group of Fellows among its members and looks forward to their future accomplishments.”

The newest WEF Fellows will be recognized during WEFTEC 2021 in Chicago on Oct. 16-20. De los Reyes has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers on topics such as water treatment, wastewater and sanitation. He is also a TED Fellow who gave a talk entitled “Sanitation is a Basic Human Right.” His awards include the Gordon Fair Award in Environmental Engineering Education; the Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding Extension, and Global Outreach Awards from NC State; the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award; the Steven Dentel Award for Global Outreach from AEESP; and the AAEE Research Honor Award. His group’s pit-emptying technology (Flexcrevator and Excluder) has won the RELX Group Environmental Challenge Award, and received the Patents for Humanity Award in 2020.