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Meet Some of the Stars of AWWA NJ

We are proud to have members that are actively engaged in both the association and in the water community. Please meet some of our current members, who've earned some extra kudos this year due to their extraordinary efforts!

Russell  Ford





The Ford Family vacationing at Atlantis in the Bahamas




Beginning of Football Season Fall 2019 (L to R)  Jonathan, Katelyn, Gregory





Troop 166 AOL Crossover Ceremony (L to R) Jonathan, Gregory







Let’s give a warm welcome to the Section’s June Spotlight Member … Dr. Russell Ford.  Russell has been involved in protecting public health and safety by advancing the field of drinking water treatment for over 30 years.   He is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Chemical Engineering, and he earned his Masters and PhD in Environmental Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.  He is a licensed professional engineer in several states.   Russell has worked for consulting engineers and a public water supplier.  Russell currently works for Jacobs Engineering Group (formerly CH2M HILL).

Some of you may know Russell because he was a past is a member of the New Jersey’s Drinking Water Quality Institute and USEPA’s Science Advisory Board, or because Professor Ford was your class instructor at Stevens Institute of Technology where he is an Adjunct Professor.

On the Section side, Russell has served on several committees and was the Section Chair in 2002 – 2003.  He was presented with the Research and Technology Transfer Award and was the recipient of the George Warren Fuller Award. At AWWA he has served as a member of the Standards Council and as a Trustee on the Water Science and Research Division. 


Why did you decide to go into the field of water?

It was somewhat of an accident. I applied to a position at then Malcolm Pirnie for a water engineer. I didn’t know much about the water industry, but a job is a job. Fortunately, John Dyksen (then the manager) saw something in me and decided to give this kid a chance. The Safe Drinking Water Act had really just been revised and there was a whole new world of water regulations that required a unique set of process engineering skills.

How did you become a volunteer for AWWA and what motivates you to be active in the Section?

I joined AWWA in 1988 at the encouragement of my employer. Then, while working for Ridgewood Water, my boss (John Dyksen once again) said “I am busy, why don’t you attend this research committee meeting for me.” The rest is history. I’ve been involved in AWWA ever since! I really enjoy the sharing knowledge with the people in the Section. There is a unique sense of comradery the exists with people in the section and within the industry. This makes it fun to come to work everyday!

How long have you been an AWWA member and what have you gotten from your membership?

I joined AWWA in 1988. I have had the pleasure of presenting technical papers at many conferences and seminars. The ability to learn from some of the other industry greats and to now to count many of them as peers. AWWA has provided national access to water industry issues as well as networking opportunities.

Hobbies and outside interests?

As many folks know, I am a founding member of Water Hammer (the Section band), where I play saxophone. I’ve been playing saxophone for more than 45 years. I also play in the Hanover Wind Symphony, which is a 70-member adult wind symphony. When I am not playing music, I can be seen coaching my sons on the football field or helping out with Scouting for Troop 166 in Randolph.  My main hobby is shuttling all three of my kids to their outside sporting and musical events. And currently, with our COVID-19 situation and home schooling, I am the family IT guy 😊!

What legacy would you like to leave behind?

I was once told that knowledge is only good if it is shared with others. I would hope that my legacy will be that I shared as much knowledge as I could to develop innovative solutions to drinking water solutions around the globe. 


Submit a Spotlight Member Nominee HERE!

Read about our other recent MemberStars:

Brittney Kovary

Fred Sickels

Jan Chwiedosiuk

Amit Kulkarni

Idali Hanson

Monserrate Alevante

Robert Fullagar

Youssef Al Fahham

Eileen Murphy

Jay Tannan

Laura Cummings

AWWA NJ Volunteers

Laura Norkute

Dedicated to Safe Water in New Jersey

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