Rusty Shadoin

Olathe, Kan., will miss Shadoin, who is retiring after 19 years with the city. Year to date, the supervisor of wastewater collection and his team have cleaned 600,000 feet of sewer pipe, with zero backups (last year, they cleaned 1.1 million feet). Since he attained his position in 2001, his department has won five out of the last six awards given by the Kansas Waste Water Association for the lowest number of backups per capita. They would have been six for six, were it not for the stipulation that an agency could only win three times in a row.

Chris Stamborski

Stamborski—project engineer with Brookfield, Wis.-based AEC firm R.A. Smith & Associates—has worked ito encourage future and just-starting engineers to continue on their path to success. A relatively young engineer himself, the Marquette University civil engineering graduate has helped out with National Engineers Week, scholarship fundraising, Society of Professional Engineers (SPE), and other groups. He was recognized as Young Engineer of the Year by both the state and local chapters of SPE.

Michael Stuver, Frederick Liljegren, Roger Kjelgren, Kelly Kopp, and Larry Rupp

Utah State University researchers Rupp, Kjelgren, and Kopp found that when watering turf, people tend to apply at least double the amount of liquid needed. In response, Stuver and Liljegren, of the Bureau of Reclamation, developed and implemented the Landscape Irrigation Simplified Program and created Sprinkler Performance Evaluation Catch Cups. The innovation substantially cuts outdoor water use—especially important in the water-starved Western United States—without turning the grass brown. The team received a Cooperative Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their water-saving invention and practices.

The Athena Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Athena Institute offers free software that compares the long-term environmental impact of building components, while the National Institute offers free software that compares the long-term costs of “green” versus traditional building materials. The software calculates the global warming potential of 400 common building components.

James Thompson

Ardmore, Okla.'s “one-man army” in the fight against litter, Thompson enlisted local divers and volunteers to clear trash and debris from Lake Murray, rooted for high-school football fans to clean up after themselves after games, and removed outdated appliances and biohazards from homes. His work inspired Ardmore Go-Green Day, which the city launched in March as part of Stamford, Conn.-based nonprofit Keep America Beautiful Inc.'s Great American Cleanup initiative.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District

The Corps has developed the world's first electric barrier that's safe (at least so far) for fish, humans, and boats. Underwater electrodes shock “nuisance” species, such as Asian carp, just enough to discourage them (without killing them) from continuing their journey from the Mississippi River into Lake Michigan.

Bill Vanden Brook

This fleet manager prompted the Center for Digital Government to name Madison, Wis., the nation's “most technologically advanced” city (among those with 125,000 to 249,999 residents) for the fourth consecutive year. Vanden Brook replaced a manual fuel-dispensing system with a wireless one that transmits fuel consumption data directly to department computers. Madison's 1100 vehicles consume more than 1 million gallons of fuel annually.

Nikolay Voutchkov

Thirty U.S. states are facing severe drought—ironic, considering more than half of the U.S. population is located along a coast. Traditionally, obtaining drinking water through seawater desalination has been considered too costly in terms of both dollars and environmental impact. Voutchkov found a way to dramatically reduce these liabilities by creating a collocated desalination system that uses existing infrastructure and cooling water from nearby coastal power plants. He also led the development of a novel method to determine salinity tolerance of marine organisms to desalination plant discharges, which allows tailored plant design and discharge configurations that fit the marine environment of specific sites. Now, at least 20 desalination projects are in development, and more than half of those will incorporate Voutchkov's technology.

Ed Wasserman

In August, the Tennessee DOT Structures Division director earned an American Iron and Steel Institute market-development award for his role in making high-performance steel (ASTM A709 HPS 70W) the material of choice in almost 400 bridges built nationwide since 1997. Under his direction, the agency was the first nationwide to design a bridge that incorporates the higher-strength, improved-weldability steel.

Geoffrey Yarema

This lawyer has helped 28 state and regional transportation departments use alternative SAFETEA-LU financing options, many of which involve the private sector: in Virginia, the first privately financed concession and transfer of an existing asset under the state's Public-Private Transportation Act; in Las Vegas, the monorail connecting destinations along the “Strip” was the nation's first privately financed urban transit project; in Texas, the first toll concession in more than a decade. Part of his expertise is drawn from helping to write SAFETEA-LU. In June, DOT Secretary Mary Peters named Yarema to a 15-member commission charged with figuring out how to maintain the Highway Trust Fund (among other goals). Not sexy stuff, but key to who ultimately owns and controls our roads.

Guide