John H. Koon

Brief Biography: 

Dr. John Koon, P.E., is an environmental engineer, licensed as a professional engineer, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, and a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE). In addition to his experience in the U.S. with industry, municipalities, and federal facilities, he has worked with industrial clients in Western Europe, Canada, Latin and South America, and the South Pacific. With more than 35 years of experience, he has expertise in industrial and municipal wastewater treatment (including the treatment of groundwaters), contaminated site remediation, strategy development, technology evaluations, water quality assessment, and permitting. He has extensive experience working with capital projects delivery teams with client organizations and other engineering firms. A significant amount of his experience has involved solving environmental problems in chemically complex systems. He has been a key contributor to significant advances in the technologies used worldwide in the treatment of industrial wastewaters.

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Affinity Group / Department: 
Environmental Engineering
Academic Faculty
B.E., Civil Engineering, 1967, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, 1969, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, 1971, University of California, Berkeley, California
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Professor of the Practice
Research Interests: 
Treatment of industrial wastewaters (experience with all categories of manufacturing industry; heavy experience in pharmaceutical and bio-pharma, petroleum refining, organic chemicals, and pulp and paper)
Removal of emerging contaminants including selenium; 1,4 dioxane, RDX, and HEPES
Biological treatment of wastewaters including conventional activated sludge, BNR, MBRs, MBBRs, trickling filtration, fluidized bed reactors, SBRs
Water reuse in industrial and military applications
NPDES permitting issues with manufacturing industry
Municipal wastewater treatment
Publications (Articles): 
Rushing, J.C., Koon, J.H., and Tucker, D., A Review of Acid Rock Drainage Sulphate Treatment Methods, Enviromine 2009 Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, 2009.
Rushing, J.C., Bott C.B., and Koon J.H., “Using Simple Numerical Methods to Solve Complicated Mass Balance Problems,” WEF Industrial Water Quality Conference Proceedings, 2007.
Rushing, J.C., Koon, J.H., Murray, Craig. Accelerated Parallel Pilot Testing of Flat Sheet and Hollow Fiber Membrane Bioreactor Techniques Reduces SBR Retrofit Costs. Malcolm Pirnir Inc., Arlington, Virginia, 2007.
Koon, J.H., “Experience with Denitrification of Industrial Wastewaters, Virginia Water Environment Association Industrial Wastewater Seminar, 2006.
Plazio, L.J., Bott, C.B., Rushing, J.C., Steiner, M.F., Plauger, J.C., and Koon, J.H., “Reconfiguration of an Industrial Wastewater Treatment System for PCB, Phenol, Zinc, and Suspended Solids Removal and Installation of a Biological Leachate Treatment System at a Former Viscose Rayon Production Facility. Proceedings of the 78th Annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exposition and Conference (WEFTEC – National Conference of the Water Environment Federation), 2005.
W. Plaehn, W., Stanfill, J.C., Koon, J.H., Shangraw, T., Bollman, D., and Richtel, S., “Full- Scale Treatment of 1, 4 Dioxane Using a Bioreactor, Battelle Conference Proceedings, 2005.
Koon, J.H., Rushing, J.C., Bott, C.B., Brummer, J.R., Keely, J.A. Evaluation of Innovative Treatment Technologies for Free and Complex Cyanide Removal from a Characteristically Hazardous Wastewater. Rushing Manuscript WEFTEC, Fairfax, Virginia, 2005.
Stanfill, J.C., Koon, J.H., Plaehn, W., Murphy, M., “1, 4 Dioxane Biodegradation Pilot Study at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site,” WEFTEC Proceedings, 2004.
Stanfill, J.C., Koon, J.H., Shangraw, T., Bollmann, D., “1,4-Dioxane Bio-Degradation Bench Study At The Lowry Landfill Superfund Site,” Proceedings of the WEF/A&WMA 10th Annual Industrial Wastes Technical and Regulatory Conference, 2004.
Bott, C.B., Brummer, J.R., and Koon, J.H. “Pretreatment of Phosphorus Plant Process Wastewater Containing Elevated Levels of Phosphite, Hypophosphite, Cyanide, and Heavy Metals,” Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation 9th Annual Industrial Wastes Technical and Regulatory Conference, 2003.
Bott, C.B., Brummer, J.R., and Koon, J.H., “Physical-Chemical Pretreatment of Process Wastewater from a Phosphorus Plant for Discharge to a POTW,” Proceedings of the WEF Industrial Wastewater Treatment and Best Avaialble Technologies Conference, 2003.
Bott, C.B., Plazio, L.J., Rushing, J.C., Koon, J.H., and Metcalf, T.J., Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage at an Inactive Pyritic Mineral Mine Using Constructed Wetlands and a Waterwheel Quicklime Feeder, Proceedings of the WEF/AWMA 10th Annual Industrial Wastes Technical and Regulatory Conference, 2004.
Bott., C.B., Martin, T., Koon, J.H., Brooks, P., Rich, P., Bement, D., and Cutler, W., “Physicochemical and Biological Treatment of a Concentrated Industrial Leachate from Aged Process Waste at a Viscose Rayon Production Facility,” Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation 75th Annuyal Technical Conference and Exposition, 2002.
Lund, D.J., Koon, J.H., Patrick, G.C., Rodriguez, J., Robles, B., and Tracey, K., “Reuse of Wastewater at a Pharmaceutical Plant,” WEFTEC Proceedings, 1998.
Ganze, K.G., Cashion, B.S., Koon, J.H., Davoren, D.J., and Donohoe, C., “Moving Bed Aerobic Treatment of Exxon Baton Rouge Chemical Plant (BRCP) Wastewater, WEFTEC Proceedings, 1997.
Oppelt, M.K., Levine, L., Frank, P., Ganze, K., Kowalik, J., and Koon, J.H., “Predicting Air Emissions Compliance Using Activated Sludge as a Control Device,” WEFTEC Proceedings, 1996.
Koon, J.H., Griffith, D.B., and Keough, E.B., “Planning for the Elimination of Deep Wells: Developing Environmentally Compatible Technologies for the Disposal of a Chemical Plant Waste,” Proceedings of the 1996 Environmental Technology Conference, Clemson University, 1996.
Dell, J.J., Koon, J.H., Griffith, D.B., Robertaccio, F.L., Hockenberry, M.R., McManus, C.N., and Dragotta, D.A., “Planning for the Elimination of Deepwells: Development of a Process to Treat a High COD, High Nitrate Wastewater,” WEFTEC Proceedings, 1995.
Atere-Roberts, S.O., and Koon, J.H., “Self-Monitoring to Meet General Permitting Requirements for Storm Water Discharges from Industrial Facilities,” Proceedings of the Industrial Pollution Control Conference, Georgia Water Pollution Control Association, 1993.
Koon, J.H., and Boggs, F.L., “Applications of a Kinetic Analysis Using Historic Operating Data to Redesign an Industrial Acticated Sludge System, Proceedings of the 48th Industrial Waste Conference, Purdue University, 1993.
Koon, J.H., “Designing and Operating Groundwater Treatment Systems: Still Trying to Get It Right,” 1993.
Koon, J.H., “Resolving Complex NPDES Permitting Issues at a Major Industrial Plant,” Proceedings of the 1993 Food Industry Environmental Conference, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993.
CEE Excellence in Teaching Award, Georgia Tech School of Civil & EnvE, 2014
W Wesley Eckenfelder Industrial Water Quality Lifetime Achievement Award, given by the Water Environment Federation, 2014
Teaching Excellence Award, Georgia Tech Women in Engineering Program, 2014
Advisor to Georgia Tech InVenture Prize winning undergraduate design team – 2014 (winner of $20,000 First Prize & $5,000 People's Choice awards)
Georgia Tech Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists Best Faculty Award – 2013
University of California-Berkeley CEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni - 2013
ASCE Fellow
WEF ( Water Environmental Federation ) Fellow 2012
Tau Beta Pi
BASF Water Team Award of Merit, 1996
Shield of Irenee Award given by the Dupont Safety, Health , and Environmental Division for Excellence in Engineering Design , 1994
DuPont-Victoria, Texas Plant Quality Award for the Deep Well Elimination Project, 1996
Chi Epsilon , founding president, Vanderbilt University chapter, 1967

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