Scholarships are awarded by EREF to recognize excellence in master’s, doctoral or post-doctoral waste management research and education. Awards to doctoral students are given in memory of Francois Fiessinger, P.E., Ph.D., a graduate of Rutgers University, who was a founding director of the foundation; and by the Environmental Research and Education Foundation. Awards to master’s students are given by Robert P. Stearns, P.E., DEE/SCS Engineers, former Chairman of EREF; and by Robert J. Riethmiller/PTR Baler and Compactor, current Chairman of the Scholarship Committee.
Fiessinger Doctoral Scholarship
Francois Fiessinger, P.E., Ph.D., an engineering graduate of Rutgers University, was a founding director of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF). Francois believed in scholarly research and was one of very few people who had a long-term research and development vision for the solid waste industry.
In 1997, based on a contribution from Lyonnaise des Eaux, the Francois Fiessinger Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to recognize excellence in Ph.D. or postdoctoral environmental research and education. One Fiessinger Scholar is awarded annually.
EREF Doctoral Scholarship
As part of its mission, EREF furthers education in the solid waste management industry. In the past, multiple outstanding candidates have applied for the Fiessinger award in the same year, prompting EREF to periodically utilize foundation funds to award additional scholarships. EREF now regularly awards Ph.D. and postdoctoral scholarships to notable candidates, expanding the scholarship program. At least one EREF Scholar is awarded annually.
Robert P. Stearns/SCS Engineers Master’s Scholarship
Robert P. Stearns, current member and former chairman of the EREF board, was a co-founder of SCS Engineers in 1970. At SCS, he directed or served in a review capacity on many of the firm’s solid waste management-related projects. Under his leadership SCS grew to more than 500 employees located in 9 regional offices throughout the United States. Following his retirement in 2006, Bob continues as SCS’ Chairman of the Board focusing on strategic planning and acquisitions. Bob and SCS Engineers established the Master’s Scholarship fund to expand EREF’s successful doctoral-level scholarship program. At least one Stearns/SCS master’s level scholarship is awarded annually.
Robert J. Riethmiller/PTR Baler and Compactor Master’s Scholarship
Robert J. Riethmiller, chairman of PTR Baler and Compactor, currently serves on the EREF board as the chairman of the Scholarship Committee. Riethmiller’s grandfather, also Bob Riethmiller, began working for PTR in 1911, and purchased it in 1929; since then it has been a family-run business. PTR is a fourth generation, family-owned company that manufactures, installs and services balers and compactors in all 50 states and sells internationally. Riethmiller has been working in the waste industry for over 50 years. He volunteered to fund a second Master’s scholarship. One Riethmiller/PTR Scholar is awarded annually.
Applications will be considered from those who:
- will be this year or are now a full-time master’s student, doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher, and
- have a clearly demonstrated interest in solid waste management research.
Scholarships recognize graduate students pursuing excellence in solid waste management research and education. Recipients are chosen based on credentials and potential contributions to the solid waste industry and its scientific community.
Awards Based On
- Academic performance
- Professional experience
- Relevance of one’s work to the advancement of solid waste management science
- Potential for success
Award amounts consider the cost of tuition at the recipient’s institution and any other funds received. Full scholarships may not be awarded to students who will be receiving full-tuition scholarships from other sources (excluding direct university assistance such as tuition remission, or assistantship income) but may still be considered for partial awards.
Doctoral and post-doctoral scholarships are awarded up to $12,000 per year, paid monthly, and can be extended for up to 3 years from the initial award date. Master’s scholarships are awarded up to $5,000 per year and can be extended for up to 2 years from the initial award date. Scholarship renewal is dependent upon satisfactory progress as determined by the student’s academic advisor.