Illinois Water Day 2016

On April 8th 2016, International Water Resources Association (IWRA) Student Chapter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) organized the 3rd annual Illinois Water Day (IWD) with the theme Water and Jobs. More than 100 people, including but not limited to professors, researchers, students and concerned individuals, participated in different parts of the event and created a unique environment to learn, teach and discuss local water issues. Four short talks each focuses on a different aspect of the main theme, and will be followed by a panel discussion and poster session.
IWRA student chapter also developed an outreach component as part of our event where IWD members reach out to local schools to promote awareness of water related issues.



Richard Lanyon


Better known as Dick Lanyon, he retired from his position as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) at the close of 2010, a position that he held for 4½ years. As Executive Director, he directed the day-to-day operations of the MWRD, which included 2,100 employees serving five million peo-ple in Cook County and the industrial equivalent of another four million people. The MWRD provides wastewater and stormwater management and other related services to protect the environment. Dick’s career at the MWRD spanned nearly 48 years. In 2012, Dick published Building the Canal to Save Chicago, a historical documentary of the first project of the MWRD:

Dick received the 2013 Abel Wolman Award from the Chicago Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association for the single best new book on public works history. Other awards include: American Society of Civil Engineer’s National Government Civil Engineer of the Year Award in 1999; Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003; Edward J. Cleary Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists in 2011; and Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) in 2011. He is also a past President of the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and holds Bachelors and Masters of Civil Engineering degrees from the UIUC. In 2013, Dick was inducted into the NACWA Hall of Fame.

Dick has been involved in a variety of technical activities for the above and other organi-zations, and he has served in a number of leadership roles on environmental protection and water resource management matters for federal, state and local agencies and organi-zations. He is currently providing technical guidance for teaching stormwater manage-ment concepts to third and sixth grade students in the Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Dick served on the Evanston Public Library Board of Directors and as alderman of the 8th Ward on the Evanston City Council. He is currently the Chairman of the Evanston Utili-ties Commission. He and his wife Marsha reside in Evanston and he continues to be an advocate for sensible and sustainable water management in the urban environment.

Colleen Callahan


Colleen Callahan grew up on a purebred Hampshire hog, Angus cattle and grain farm near Milford, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from the University of Illinois. She was the first woman agribusiness director for WMBD Radio and TV in Peoria. After 30 years with WMBD, Colleen started her own communications firm, specializing in giving motivational speeches, facilitating meetings and debates, and coaching individuals and organizations in public speaking and preparing for media interviews. She has traveled on official missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Cuba.

Colleen has a strong commitment to public service and has served on numerous executive boards throughout the Peoria area and the State of Illinois. She also served as the first woman president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and is the first woman inducted into its Hall of Fame.

The Obama Administration named Colleen State Director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois, and she began her duties in July 2009. She oversees the agency’s 13 offices and its $4.5 billion loan portfolio with investments in housing, business and community development in rural Illinois. While continuing in that capacity, in August of 2012, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asked Colleen to also serve as the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Drought.

Lance Schideman


Dr. Lance Schideman is a senior researcher at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. His research program is strategically located at the nexus of water, energy and food with a long-range goal of developing innovative water systems that increase water quality, decrease energy inputs, and facilitate water reuse. A crowning achievement of his work in this area is the development of the patented Environment-Enhancing Energy system, which can simultaneously provide wastewater treatment with improved nutrient removal, carbon capture, and significant algal biofuel production. A detailed analysis of this novel approach was published in the high-impact journal Energy & Environmental Science in 2013 that showed the potential to replace all US petroleum imports with biofuels derived from current wastewaters.

Lance received all three of his degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois, where he also received many honors including Freshman Engineer of the Year, the Ira O. Baker Memorial Award and the Richard and Mary Engelbrecht Award. His doctoral research focused on the demonstration and modeling of hybrid adsorption-membrane systems for high-quality drinking water production. This work was supported and recognized by prestigious awards from the US EPA STAR Program, Abel Wolman Fellowship, and the American Water Works Association Academic Achievement Award for PhD Thesis. During his graduate studies, Lance also worked at the US Geological Survey Water Resources Division to quantify trends in the nutrient loads of Illinois streams. In addition, he also spent one year as a visiting scholar at Qinghua University in China as part of the Luce Foundation Fellowship Program.

Dr. Schideman worked for 12 years as an environmental engineering consultant with Camp, Dresser & McKee (now CDM-Smith) including part-time work during his PhD studies. There he completed the pilot testing and design of advanced membrane filtration facilities in Manitowoc and Racine Wisconsin. The teams working on these leading-edge projects received several honors including the 2006 Best in Class Award from the Wisconsin Consulting Engineers Council.

During his time at the University of Illinois, Lance has served as the director of thesis research for 8 MS students and 9 PhD students in three departments, many of whom have now graduated and gone on to start careers in academia, consulting, government, agriculture, and investment banking. Dr. Schideman has also served as the faculty sponsor for the local student chapter of the Water Environment Association and the Illini Algae Research Club. These club activities have led to multiple student-led campus projects sponsored by the UIUC Student Sustainability Committee that underscore an ongoing desire to help translate educational experiences into real-world sustainable solutions here in Illinois and beyond.