The WEF Fellows Program recognizes the professional achievement, stature and contributions of WEF members to the preservation and enhancement of the global water environment in the practice areas served by WEF as described below. WEF Fellow applicants will be considered by a selection committee. Selected WEF Fellows may use the professional designation, WEF Fellow, after their name.

Congratulations to our 2016 WEF Fellows

Past WEF Fellows

WEF Fellows Printable Fact Sheet (pdf)

Eligibility Criteria

  • Member of WEF for a minimum of 5 consecutive years
  • Completed and signed WEF Fellows application providing:
    • Documentation for a minimum of 15 years of professional experience
    • Documentation of at least 10 years of professional achievement/stature and contributions to preserving and enhancing the global water environment, in the practice areas served by WEF, including, but not limited to Design/Consulting, Education, Operations, Regulation, Research and Utility Management/Leadership.
  • Documented contributions to the member’s profession through active participation in WEF, its Member Associations, other professional organizations and community involvement. Include examples of your work which convey the impact you have made in your practice area. Note: all presentations, papers, and cited works must be properly documented to show ownership.
  • Supporting letters from WEF members, (maximum of 5/minimum of 3) - two letters must be from peers in the nominee's practice area, and not employed at the same organization as the applicant.

Application Process:

  • Applications are accepted from any current WEF member as a self-nomination or a nomination of another WEF member.
  • Applications must be typewritten.
  • Individual WEF members and MAs may submit applications nominating WEF members for Fellow status.
  • Applications must be received at WEF headquarters no later than February 1st of each year.

Click here for online application

WEF Staff Contact:

Kelsey Hurst

Tom Sigmund Bio

Thomas W. Sigmund, P.E.
Executive Director, NEW Water

Tom Sigmund is the Executive Director of NEW Water, the brand of the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, where he has been since 2007. NEW Water is a regional clean water utility serving 230,000 people in 18 municipalities providing wholesale conveyance and treatment services. NEW Water has 98 employees and an annual budget of $39 million. NEW Water expresses its attitude of viewing the material sent to its facilities as a valuable resource to be recovered and reused and a commitment to continued improvement in the watershed. 

Mr. Sigmund is a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio. He is a member of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Board of Directors and was Chair of the NACWA Utility and Resource Management Committee. He served as Chair of the Water Resources Utility of the Future Task Force that developed the Water Resources Utility of the Future Blueprint for Action document in 2013. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin.  Mr. Sigmund received the Schroepfer Innovative Facility Design Medal from WEF in 2007 and the NACWA President’s Award in 2013.

Mr. Sigmund has a MS and BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sandra K. Ralston Bio

Sandra K. Ralston, WEF Fellow

Ms. Ralston is the founder and principal of Consensus LLC, a management consulting firm for water utilities, located in Charleston, SC.  She assists water utilities with strategic planning, change management, business case analysis, and leadership team effectiveness.  She also leads facilitation teams for stakeholder participation in watershed planning and water quality compliance.

She is a Past President of the Water Environment Federation Board of Trustees and served on the WEF Board for the 7 years. She is chairman of the Advisory Committee for the WEF Stormwater Institute, a  member of the WEF Government Affairs Committee and  the WEF Utility Management Committee, and a member of the coordinating council for WEF’s new National Green Infrastructure Certification Program, a program of the WEF Stormwater Institute.   

Ms. Ralston is a member of the Indiana Water Environment and the Water Environment of South Carolina. 

Ms. Ralston received her B.A. degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA from George Washington University.  

Rajendra Bhattarai Bio

Rajendra Bhattarai, P.E., BCEE
Division Manager
Environmental and Regulatory Services
Austin Water, City of Austin, Texas

Rajendra Bhattarai has nearly four decades of public sector experience in water quality management, and water resource recovery. He currently manages Austin Water’s Environmental and Regulatory Services Division.

Raj was the 2007-2008 president of the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT), and president of the Texas Association of Clean Water Agencies in 2001, 2013 and 2014. He served as a board member of the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation, where he also chaired the Research Council. Raj is a current board member of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

Raj received the Gascoigne Medal and the Bedell Award from the Water Environment Federation, and the Mahlie Award from WEAT for “significant contributions to the art and science of wastewater treatment and water pollution control.” He has a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and a Master’s in Environmental Health Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a registered professional engineer and a board certified environmental engineer. Raj is a Distinguished Alumnus of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 130 presentations and publications to his credit.

James H. Clark bio

James H. Clark is a senior vice president of the engineering/construction firm Black & Veatch Corporation. Located at the firm’s Los Angeles office, he has managed over $3 billion construction value of environmental and water quality improvement projects, including serving as the Senior Process Engineer and a Project Manager for the design of the City of Los Angeles Hyperion Treatment Plant, a 15-year, $1.1 billion wastewater treatment and reclamation project which was named one of the ten most outstanding public works projects of the 20th Century by the American Public Works Association (along with the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, and the Panama Canal); and managed the design for the $200 million facility to provide full secondary treatment to the Orange County (CA) Sanitation District Plant No. 1. He was the Project Director for design, construction, and commissioning of the 1,800 ML/d, $328 million CDN Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant for Metro Vancouver (Canada), which includes the world’s largest potable water UV disinfection facility. He recently managed the design for the $140 million expansion of the Orange County (CA) Water District Groundwater Replenishment System, one of the most famous indirect potable reuse projects in the world, which completed construction in 2015. He was also the Project Director for the design and construction of the City of Los Angeles $45 million Echo Park Lake rehabilitation, which was one of the five finalists for the 2015 ASCE OPAL award. He recently completed managing the design for the $500 million Sacramento (CA) Regional County Sanitation District biological nitrogen removal facilities, with construction completion scheduled for 2020.

Clark served as president of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), a global technical, scientific, and educational water quality organization, during 2001-2002. In 2004 he received WEF’s prestigious Charles Alvin Emerson Medal for outstanding service to the wastewater collection and treatment industry, and in 2009 was awarded the Englebrecht International Achievement Award for sustained and significant contributions in the international field. He was awarded Honorary Membership in 2012; fewer than 140 individuals have been so honored in the organization’s 88 year history. In November 2004 he was named one of the 50 most influential people in the public works industry by Public Works magazine, and was named the 2005 “Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Private Sector” by the Los Angeles Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

He served on the Water Environment Research Foundation Board of Directors from 1999 through 2001. In 2002 he was appointed by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to the nine-member international Nominating Committee for the Stockholm Water Prize, the most prestigious global award for water professionals (considered by many to be the Nobel Prize for water), where he served for the maximum allowed six years. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Water for People, a charitable organization that supports the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education programs in developing countries; and in 2012 was honored with their Robert W Hite Outstanding Leadership Award. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the US Water Alliance.

Clark has authored numerous technical publications and given scores of presentations at conferences and seminars around the world, including a review author for the two most recent editions of Design of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants – MOP 8, and a principal author of Odor Control in Wastewater Treatment Plants – MOP 22, and Control of Odors and Emissions from Wastewater Treatment Plants – MOP 25, each considered the best state-of-the-practice technical manuals available. He directed the Assessment of Reconstruction Costs and Debt Management for Wastewater Utilities Affected by Hurricane Katrina for WEF in 2005-06, and participated in presentations at both houses of Congress as well as a press conference on Capitol Hill. He was also invited to present these findings in Stockholm, Sweden during World Water Week in August 2006 and as a representative of the United States at the Japan-U.S. Governmental Conference on Drinking Water Quality Management and Wastewater Control in Okinawa in January 2007.

Born in Vancouver, Washington, Clark received a B.S. degree cum laude in civil engineering and a M.S. in environmental engineering from Washington State University, and received their Alumni Achievement Award in 2004 “for rendering outstanding contributions to the community, profession and nation.” Fewer than 500 alumni have been so honored out of over 250,000 graduates. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the WSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

He is a registered Professional Engineer in several states, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and in addition to WEF is a member of the American Water Works Association, American Public Works Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the College of Fellows of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, and holds Chair No. 176 in the International Water Academy headquartered in Oslo, Norway.