Christopher Higgins, University Distinguished Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, was honored for his research on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

ASCE awarded Higgins the 2022 Samuel Arnold Greeley Award for a paper he co-wrote with colleagues that include  Colorado School of Mines PhD candidate Stefanie Shea. The paper, “Desorption of Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl Substances from Soil Historically Impacted with Aqueous Film-Forming Foam,” was published in the Journal of Environmental Engineering.

Named in honor of American civil engineer and past ASCE Director Samuel Greeley, the Greeley Award honors the paper that makes the most valuable contribution to the environmental engineering profession, specifically those having to do with the design, construction, operation or financing of water supply pollution control, storm drainage or refuse disposal projects.

Higgins and Shea’s winning  paper detailed research on the use of bench-scale experiments to measure and evaluate the desorption rate kinetics from a vadose zone soil exposed decades ago to aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs). Also co-authoring the paper were Charles Schaefer and Dung Nguyen of CDM Smith; and Emerson Christie and Jennifer Field of Oregon State University.

ASCE is represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1853, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society.