Krishna Pagilla, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, the Ralph E. and Rose A. Hoeper Engineering Professor and Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Pagilla is the Founding Director of Nevada Water Innovation Institute, a university-utility collaboration among six public entities and the University of Nevada to drive innovation in the water sector. His expertise is in water and wastewater treatment engineering, water resource recovery, water reuse, and environmental molecular biology and biotechnology. He has researched and published over 200 works on these subjects in leading peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, books and reports.
He has also been a principal investigator on several research projects funded by the USEPA, USDA, NSF, WE&RF (now WRF), USDOE, USBOR, engineering companies, and many public utilities in the country. His career research awards and expenditures exceed $10 million. Most recently, he received an award of ~1.8 million to study COVID-19 prevalence through wastewater surveillance and develop a predictive community prevalence model. Pagilla’s research has led to publication of several technical reports and guidance documents for practice on topics related to water resource recovery facilities. He has consulted for many engineering companies and public utilities, and provided process-engineering expertise for planning and design of water and wastewater treatment facilities.
Over his 25+ years as a career academic, Pagilla has mentored 18 Ph.D. graduates, 18 M.S. graduates, five postdoctoral associates, and numerous undergraduate students and researchers. He currently supervises the research of over 10 graduate students, one postdoctoral scholar and one research associate professor.
Pagilla has served in leadership roles in both scientific and professional organizations. He is currently president of the Nevada Water Environment Association, but also served as president of Illinois Water Environment Association (2012-13) and as chair of the USA National Committee of International Water Association (IWA) (2016-19).
His awards and honors by local, state, national and international organizations include the Camp Applied Research Prize by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) (2013), Fair Outstanding Educator Medal (WEF, 2013), McKee Groundwater Sustainable Use Award (WEF, 2019), ASCE Student Organization Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring (2011), and International Honor Award (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2000). He is an elected Fellow of WEF and IWA.
Internationally recognized, Pagilla is active in multiple collaborations around the world. These include as international juror of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, as a scientific committee member of Catalan Institute for Water Research, and as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.