Determined leader: Dean Katers is recognized for regional efforts in science and sustainability

He is a determined leader and a UW-Green Bay alumnus who continues to inspire.

Dean of UW-Green Bay’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, John Katers, was recognized by two major organizations this fall for his dedication to science, engineering, and sustainability.

Katers persistence and leadership in the drive for engineering degrees and the long-awaited Resch School of Engineering at UW-Green Bay, and his unwavering commitment toward the establishment of the Brown County STEM Innovation Center on the Green Bay Campus, has no doubt added to his legacy.

In late August, Katers received word that the Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA), named him the three-state organization’s 2020 William C. Boyle Educator of the Year Award. The award recognizes accomplishments in the education and development of future water environment professionals by educators at all levels, from primary grades through graduate students. Katers believes his long history with NEW Water, a government utility that reclaims waters and promote pollution prevention and water conservation, may have led to the nomination. Many of his former students work at the organization.

John Katers

Under normal circumstances, the award would have been presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting in August. His award will also be announced in the next publication of Central States Water, and Katers will be recognized at CSWEA’s 2021 Annual Meeting.

“A big congratulations to you on your well-deserved award and for all your essential work in keeping our waters clean and sustainable for generations to come,” said Jane Carlson, second president of CSWEA. “Your ongoing commitment to the protection of our water environment is greatly appreciated.”

And just last week (Friday, Sept. 18), Katers was presented the 2020 Wisconsin Section American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Engineer in Education Individual Merit Award. The list of award winners through the years included Dr. Al Zanoni (1998) and Dr. Tom Wenzel (1996), two of Katers’ former faculty members and mentors at Marquette University where he completed his Ph.D.

“Dr. Zanoni was my major professor at Marquette and I believe I am the only Ph. D. student of his that finished, while Dr. Wenzel was the Chair of Engineering,” Katers said. “I am not sure that I am entirely deserving of the award, as we have a great team of people at UWGB and in CSET that do remarkable work with our students each and every day, but I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Zanoni who I greatly respected as an educatorbecause of his passion and dedication to training the next generation of engineers.”

The Engineer in Education Individual Merit Award is given to those who contribute to civil engineering through actions that serve to advance the art, science or technology of civil engineering.

Katers currently chairs the Brown County Solid Waste Board and has done extensive research on solid waste management and recycling, agricultural waste management and treatment, and pollution control and waste minimization.

In the featured photo, Katers welcomes the Green Bay Packers to the Tiny Earth kick-off (a search for antibiotics) press conference at the STEM Innovation Center in Sept. 2019.