Robert L. Nichols Professional Service Award: Eric Kong

Congratulations to Eric Kong, a Treatment, Transmission & Utilities engineer in San Antonio, for receiving this year’s Robert L. Nichols Professional Service Award

Eric Kong

Eric Kong, a Treatment, Transmission & Utilities engineer in San Antonio, has been an active member of the South Texas Chapter of the American Water Works Association’s Texas Section and the Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) since 2018. Eric received the WEAT 2023 Emerging Leader Award and serves as the San Antonio Section’s WEAT Young Professional Representative to the State.

Eric is devoted to developing the young professional community through engagement and advocating growth. Since joining TAWWA/WEAT, he has volunteered his time, restarted the local chapter’s inactive newsletter, and coordinated many events for the Young Professional (YP) chapter. In 2022, he chaired or co-chaired YP events including the group’s volleyball tournament and the Girls, Inc., RockIt Science Festival.

Erin Mills, a Treatment, Transmission & Utilities engineer in San Antonio, nominated Eric for this year’s award. Here’s part of what Erin said:

“More young professionals are getting involved in Central Texas because of Eric’s leadership and enthusiasm for the AWWA and WEAT. He won the state and local AWWA Emerging Leader Award in 2023 because of all his involvement and led a discussion on young professional pay/compensation in the industry, and all who attended said it was informative and eye-opening.

“He is moving FNI and the treatment community forward with his research project on high-pressure membranes and log removal with Wichita Falls. He has submitted papers to five conferences. He is working on the AWWA SETH program to develop a pipeline for students to go from high school to being licensed treatment plant operators.

“Eric is an asset to FNI!”

Freese and Nichols presents the Robert L. Nichols Professional Service Award each year to an employee who demonstrates dedication and commitment to professional development. Nominees are evaluated according to their involvement and leadership with professional organizations; their contributions to the profession, including technical presentations and papers; their long-term impact on colleagues and students; and their efforts that go above and beyond normal duties.