Minnesota Water Research Fund

Established by CEGE alumnus and water industry leader Bernie Bullert, the Minnesota Water Research Fund (MWRF) provides support for research in the areas of water resource management and water treatment. Funds may be used to support faculty or students. 

Water research has an essential role to play in the future of our cities, states, and nation – economically, socially and environmentally. Water resources touch virtually every aspect of our lives encompassing the water we drink, the quality of our streams and lakes, water supply and wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and the infrastructure necessary to make it all work together.

About the Fund

The Minnesota Water Research Fund provides research support for faculty and students of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering working in water resources management and water treatment. Even as the research conducted solves current and emerging water quality problems, the Minnesota Water Research Fund also helps train students – the engineers and scientists for tomorrow’s water management and treatment industries. 

Bernie R. Bullert, a well-known and respected leader in the regional and national water and wastewater engineering field, created this fund in 2015 (read more here about what inspired Bullert to create the fund). Since its inception, additional alumni and friends of the college have also contributed to build the fund balance and an expert Advisory Committee has been formed. 

Research advances generated in the laboratory with the help of funding from MWRF  help guide critical water infrastructure decisions and investments across the state of Minnesota, particularly in those small communities where funds for water research, training, and education are scarce. 

Vision

Enable the University of Minnesota to be a national leader in innovative research to improve public health and protect Minnesota’s water resources.

Goals

  • Develop and support research ideas and priorities in any aspect of water in Minnesota, including climate change’s effects on MN water resources.
  • Achieve an endowed chair status for the fund by 2030 - a $2 million goal
  • Annually fundraise and fund top-quality water research at UMN

Impact

Our fund has already made an impact by supporting the following research projects:

  • 2021: Impacts of vegetation on surface water/groundwater interactions: Assistant Professor Judy Yang
  • 2021: Purchase of ISCO automated water sampling devices for use in water research and teaching CEGE students. 
  • 2020: Optimization of Water Quality Monitoring in Streams: Adjunct Associate Professor Paul Capel  
  • 2019: Water-Conscious Cultivar Selection for Protecting Minnesota Groundwater: Assistant Professor Xue Feng with PhD candidate Brandon Sloan  
  • 2018: Integrated Biocatalysis and Reactor Design for Clean Water and Energy from Waste: Professor Paige Novak 
  • 2018: N-nitrosodimethylamine Precursors in the Upper Mississippi River: Professor Raymond Hozalski  
  • 2017: Innovative Nitrogen Removal: Graduate student Anndee Huff working with Professor Paige Novak 

View MWRF Project Summaries

Share Expertise

Contact Bernie Bullert (bernie.bullert@sl-serco.com) or another member of our MWRF Advisory Committee to become a thought-partner to help inform the development of research projects and priorities or to learn more about the MWRF Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee Members

Bernie Bullert (Chair)
BCE 1968, MBA 1977, University of Minnesota
bernie.bullert@sl-serco.com

Michelle Stockness (Vice Chair)
BSCiE 2001, University of Missouri-Columbia

mstockness@barr.com

David Allen
BA Mass Comm. 1993, University of Minnesota
dave.allen@sl-serco.com

Lisa Cerney
BCE 1999, University of Minnesota
lisa.cerney@hennepin.us

Tricia Christensen
BSCE 2001, South Dakota State University

christensenp@bv.com

Bo Johnston
MSCE 2005, University of Minnesota
JohnstonRW@bv.com

Andrew Ohrt
MSCE 2005, University of Minnesota
aohrt@westyost.com

Naeem Qureshi
MSCE 1985, University of Minnesota
naeemqureshi99@yahoo.com

Karl Streed
BCE 1972, University of Minnesota
stree013@umn.edu

Stew Thornley
BS Business Administration 1981, University of Minnesota
stew.thornley@state.mn.us

Shannon Wolkerstorfer
University of Minnesota External Relations
swolkers@umn.edu