A broken stream of water in air.

Alabama Water Institute Names First Faculty Fellowship Recipients

A collage of professional headshots of two women and one man.
Dr. Lisa Davis, left, Dr. Leigh Terry, top right, and Dr. Milad R. Esfahani, bottom right.

The Alabama Water Institute selected three faculty members from The University of Alabama as the inaugural fellows in the AWI Faculty Fellowship Program.

The program recognizes UA faculty for outstanding research, extension and education programs that significantly advance UA’s interdisciplinary water-related communities of science.

“These researchers are to be commended for their leadership in the water treatment technologies and hydrologic sciences and will serve as AWI ambassadors here on campus and in the larger research community with which they engage,” said Scott Rayder, AWI executive director. “The University of Alabama is fortunate to have such deep expertise and talent, and we look forward to this new affiliation with AWI as they expand on their current records of accomplishment in their respective fields.”

AWI established two types of fellowships. Assistant professors are eligible for the Early Career Alabama Water Institute Faculty Fellowship while associate and full professors are eligible for the Distinguished Alabama Water Institute Faculty Fellowship.

The first Early Career AWI Faculty Fellows include:

  • Dr. Leigh Terry, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, College of Engineering.
  • Dr. Milad R. Esfahani, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, College of Engineering.

The first Distinguished AWI Faculty Fellow includes:

  • Dr. Lisa Davis, associate professor of geography, College of Arts & Sciences.

Two Early Career and one Distinguished Faculty Fellowships will be awarded each year by AWI to candidates affiliated with the institute. Each fellowship has a tenure of three academic years and is accompanied by an annual salary stipend.

Selected fellows have evidenced strong interdisciplinary water-related research, education and/or extension programs. Their research, education and extension priorities align with AWI’s mission to carry out cutting edge and applied research and train the next generation of scientists to provide actionable, novel solutions for a more water-secure world.

AWI Faculty Fellows serve as representatives committed to contribute to AWI’s initiatives during their term and help promote the institute across UA, its partners and the public. AWI Faculty Fellows also increase the visibility and impact of the institute by participating in its H.U.B. Talk series and by submitting two interdisciplinary AWI proposals.

The creation of the AWI demonstrated the commitment of UA to be a premier research and education institution around water-related issues. AWI’s goal is to become a world-class interdisciplinary water research institute that develops path-breaking, holistic and environmentally friendly solutions to ensure people and ecological systems in our community, state, nation and around the world have access to clean water and are resilient to extreme events.

AWI Faculty Fellows provide a community of science to the UA campus that can respond to multiple interdisciplinary research opportunities and build a portfolio of projects and initiatives that benefit not only the University but all of society.


Brock Parker, Alabama Water Institute, brockparker@ua.edu