ASCE has honored Berrin Tansel, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE, with the 2021 Margaret S. Petersen Award for her exemplary leadership and intellectual generosity for professional advancement of women, and outstanding contributions for pioneering research in water conservation, coastal water quality improvement, and concentrate management.
Tansel has spent her career mentoring women engineers and scientists. She established and directed the Florida Alliance, comprising the Colleges of Engineering and Departments of Chemistry at five Florida Universities, through an NSF grant to enhance retention of women faculty by mentoring academic women and to promote female leadership within the university and the scientific fields. Tansel co-edited a book on successful strategies for mentoring women faculty and providing leadership opportunities to women in STEM fields, particularly in engineering, for building on intrainstitutional strengths through interinstitutional activities, including shared workshops, research, and materials to minimize the isolation of women faculty in such fields (Alliances for Advancing Academic Women: Guidelines for Collaborating in STEM Fields, Penny J. Gilmer, Berrin Tansel, Michelle Hughes Miller, Eds.). During her long history of service to EWRI, she has served on the editorial board of the ASCE Journal of Energy Engineering and as the associate chair and chair of the Desalination and Water Reuse Committee, as well as the Wastewater Engineering Technical Committee. She contributed to the ASCE Monograph on Concentrate Management in Desalination: Case Studies (Published in 2012). She has also started many educational outreach and engineering programs, such as student internship programs at local agencies and summer science programs for middle and high school students. She has sponsored educational programs to better prepare underrepresented groups to enter science and engineering disciplines.
The Margaret S. Petersen Award recognizes a female member of ASCE or EWRI who has demonstrated exemplary service to the water resources and environmental science and engineering community.