Dr. Daniel Oerther, professor of environmental health engineering, received two awards from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) during the 2018 annual Excellence Awards celebration in London, England.
Oerther received a commendation as the runner-up in the selection of the “Outstanding Environmental Health Professional.” The panel of judges announced six finalist on the shortlist, and Oerther received a commendation after the panel recognized the winner, Sam Lauder, who is currently deployed with the British Red Cross in the Democratic Republic of Congo in response to an ongoing Ebola outbreak. Oerther, a Fellow of CIEH, was commended for his decade-long effort improving access to safe water and nutritious food among more than 200,000 villagers in the rural highlands of Western Guatemala.
Missouri S&T and Oerther were announced as the winners of the “Best Environmental Health Solution,” for the project, “Interventions to improve environmental health conditions for the indigenous Ladino population in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.” The panel of judges noted that this “solution resonates with the founding principles of our profession – addressing public health through rigorous scientific research to define engineering and hygiene solutions that improve the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing on a generational scale – with the capacity of being exported, globally.
With more than 8,000 global members, the CIEH has been the voice of environmental health since 1883; protecting the public, supporting professionals and influencing policy.
“I am truly honored to be recognized by CIEH,” Oerther says. “This work would not be possible without the partnership of many people in Guatemala and around the world, without exceptional students such as recent doctoral graduate, Dr. Lee Voth-Gaeddert, and without collaborators here on campus including Beth Cudney from engineering management and Don Wunsch from electrical engineering.”
Previously, Oerther’s work in Guatemala was recognized with the 2016 Superior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) and with the 2018 Dr. John L. Leal Award from the American Water Works Association (AWWA) for public health leadership. In 2016, Oerther was inducted as a lifetime honorary fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) for his collaborations with community health nurses in Guatemala.