Bentley Systems, the infrastructure engineering software company, has announced that the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has awarded Bentley Fellow and Senior Product Manager Thomas Walski, Ph.D., P.E., with the AWWA 2020 Opflow Publications Award and the Division Best Paper Award in Engineering & Construction. The Opflow Publications Award recognizes the contribution of information directed at operating personnel of water utility systems in the areas of science, technology, and water supply operations. The Division Best Paper Award annually recognizes an author or authors from each AWWA technical and education division published in either AWWA Water Science or Journal AWWA from January to December of the previous year.
Walski won the AWWA 2020 Opflow Publications Award for “Risk and Resilience Assessment Isn’t Optional Anymore.” The paper discusses how digital twins can help water system operators meet risk assessment and emergency planning standards mandated by America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. Additionally, it demonstrates how digital twins can address pipe breaks, power outages, fires, and contamination within water systems.
Walski won the Division Best Paper Award in the Engineering & Construction category for “Pressure-dependent Demand under Pressure-deficient Conditions.” He co-authored the paper with Michael Havard, Bruce Yankelitis, and Jon Youells, former students at Wilkes University, and Brian Whitman, professor of environmental engineering at Wilkes University. The paper addresses how water systems behave when pressures become very low, such as during emergencies, and how to perform hydraulic analysis of those conditions using Bentley Systems’ WaterGEMS software.
This research improves our understanding and modeling of hydraulics and is the latest in a decades-long trend of work resulting in advancement of the water sector
James Cooper, vice-chair, AWWA Engineering & Construction Division, said, “Congratulations to Dr. Walski and the supporting authors as recipients of the ‘2020 Best Paper Award’ from the AWWA Engineering & Construction Division. This research improves our understanding and modeling of hydraulics and is the latest in a decades-long trend of work resulting in advancement of the water sector.”
“Tom’s research really clarifies how water distribution systems operate under dynamic conditions, which has implications on public health and asset management,” said Ken Mercer, editor-in-chief, AWWA Water Science and Journal AWWA, American Water Works Association. “As his group wrote, systems can be stressed during pipe breaks, fires, and major shutdowns or simply due to a lack of capacity. Tom’s research of the dynamics of water distribution systems furthers the water industry’s understanding and control of buried infrastructure that is vital to maintain public health and support community development.”
“Winning either of these prestigious awards is quite an accomplishment, but winning both in the same year is truly extraordinary,” said Gregg Herrin, vice president of water infrastructure at Bentley. “For his entire career, Tom has made tremendous contributions to the industry, and we are proud that he continues doing so as a Bentley colleague.”
Walski has worked at Bentley since 2000, and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Wilkes University. He is currently a fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers, a lifetime member of American Water Works Association, and a member of the Water Environment Federation.