Professor Emeritus Alex Horne received the Odum Award, from the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES). This award for lifetime achievement is the Society’s most prestigious award and was presented virtually at the May 2021 Annual Meeting. The Odum award is named for the late professors H.T. Odum (U. Florida) and Eugene Odum (U. Georgia), brothers and preeminent pioneers in the field.
In the 1980s, Dr. Horne introduced the then new subject of Ecological Engineering to Cal, and it is still taught within our Department's Environmental Engineering group. The flagship of the subject is the engineered treatment wetland that looks natural but can be designed to remove almost any pollutant and requires little maintenance with sunlight and photosynthesis providing the energy. These wetlands can stand alone but are often used as a polishing treatment following conventional wastewater treatment.
Dr. Horne has designed over 15,000 acres of treatment wetlands including the 500-acre Prado Wetlands in Orange County, CA, which is currently being used as an experimental site by Professor David Sedlak and Stanford Professor Richard Luthy. Horne’s largest wetland is the 10,000-acre Hangzhou Migratory Bird Wetland, south of Shanghai, China, which cleans up polluted canal water, supports birds and native deer, and attracts 200,000 visitors and students each year. It is close to another China wetland designed jointly by Horne and Professor Emeritus Slav Hermanowicz. Horne’s latest design is the Vista Grande Wetland being constructed in San Francisco to clean up the water supply to Lake Temescal.