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Orner named Wadsworth Faculty Fellow

Kevin Orner,assistant professor in the Wadsworth Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at West Virginia University.

Kevin Orner has been named the Maurice and Jo Ann Wadsworth Faculty Fellow. (WVU Photo/Paige Nesbit)

Kevin Orner, assistant professor of Civil and environmental engineering at West Virginia University, has been named the Maurice and JoAnn Wadsworth Faculty Fellow in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

Story by Brittany Furbee, Communications Specialist

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—

Orner was selected as a Wadsworth Fellow in recognition of his research efforts to improve human and environmental health across the globe. 

“I am sincerely thankful to receive this appointment,” Orner said. “I will continue working hard to advance research initiatives in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Statler College of Engineering.” 

Orner was also recently named a Bridge Faculty Fellow as part of a campus-wide science and technology policy, leadership and communications initiative. The initiative brings together researchers at WVU to address the state’s most pressing challenges such as water and carbon dioxide removal. Orner and other members of the 2022-2023 cohort will conduct research with the goal being to provide policy makers with expert data and analysis that will help WVU fulfill its Land Grant Mission to have a positive impact on the state and its citizens.  

Orner’s research focuses on the recovery of resources such as nutrients, energy and water from concentrated waste streams. The Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded Orner $1 million in funding to further his wastewater treatment research. 

“I am interested in the safe and contextually appropriate recovery of valuable resources such as water, energy, and nutrients from concentrated waste streams such as wastewater, urine, food waste, animal manure, and agricultural waste,” Orner said. “My research program provides integrated technological, experimental, social, and modeling solutions through resource recovery, technology development, environmental and economic analysis, data science, policy, and engineering education.” 

According to Orner, his research interests were inspired by his years of international service. He served in Panama from 2009-2011 as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and in Costa Rica in 2018 as a Fulbright Scholar.  

As a Wadsworth and Bridge Faculty fellow, Orner plans to focus his research on developing innovative technologies for resource recovery in underprivileged areas, integrating his technologies into wastewater treatment facilities and farms, and utilizing big data to leverage his research for resource recovery and climate change mitigation.  

“This appointment highlights the need for safe and sustainable technologies to address challenges related to water, sanitation, and waste management here in West Virginia and around the world,” Orner explained. “This Fellow appointment will help me in recruiting students, obtaining external funding, and building collaborations.”  

Orner received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 2019 and a master’s in civil engineering in 2011, both from the University of South Florida, and his bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008. He joined the Statler College as a faculty member in 2021. 


-WVU-

bmf/09/28/22

Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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