March 10, 2015

Contact: Amy Hewes

Cal Poly Professor Recognized for Lifetime Achievements in Waste Management

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Sam Vigil, a member of Cal Poly’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department since 1982, was awarded the Richard I. Stessel Waste Management Award by the Air and Waste Management Association. The award recognizes individuals or agencies for outstanding achievements in waste management science and technology, management and regulation, or education.

Vigil shares this year’s award with Ryan Dupont of Utah State University. The presentation ceremony will take place June 24 at the Association’s 108th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Raleigh, N.C. 

Vigil’s career includes 29 years of active and reserve military service, during which he improved the U.S. Navy’s waste management and environmental stewardship practices. One of his key professional accomplishments was the development of an early computer model for solid waste management, which was first used by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

Vigil is also known as a leader in the application of waste management techniques to the emerging field of sustainability engineering. At Cal Poly, he developed a unique graduate course in sustainable engineering and served as a member of two interdisciplinary teams working to develop sustainable buildings and facilities on campus. He also published “Integrated Solid Waste Management: Engineering Principles and Management Issues” with co-authors George Tchobanoglous and Hilary Theisen (McGraw Hill, 1993). Available in four languages, the text is widely used by universities as well as practicing environmental engineers.

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