Jeffrey B. Taub Award

Presented annually to a student who best exhibits Jeffrey Taub's maturity of thought and independence, and who best integrates past training with the environmental engineering profession

About Jeff

Jeffrey B. Taub will always be remembered at Duke for his maturity of thought, his independence, and his ability to successfully integrate past training with the environmental engineering profession.

Jeff arrived at Duke in June 1980, the result of a careful decision-making process to change careers from being a prominent high school physics teacher in New York State to becoming an environmental engineer. Jeff extended his knowledge of engineering in general and environmental engineering in particular by rigorous courses and by dedicating himself to his research.

With maturity and independence, he applied himself to the development of his new career. His efforts were rewarded and the results of his work at Duke are widely published. "Hazardous Waste Generated by the Academic Departments of Duke University" (January 1981), was a report prepared by Jeff which successfully assisted the university in addressing this monumental problem. "Instabilization in the Air Classification of Fuels," Journal of the Energy Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineers (June 1983), made a major contribution to the theory and application of air classification. "Instabilities in Air Classification of Refuse Derived Fuel," Fourth Symposium and Biotechnology in Energy Production and Conservation by Oak Ridge National Laboratories (May 1982), added to the understanding of the problems while producing needed energy. "Regional Alternatives for Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill," was a report prepared by Jeff which received regional and statewide attention.

Jeff also valued other parts of his life, his fellow graduate students in general and one friend in particular. He annually led the environmental engineering graduate students and (some) faculty into battles on the soccer and softball fields. Rumor has it that Nancy Wittenberg, a fellow graduate student at the time, was so impressed with Jeff's ability to play third base that she subsequently agreed to his proposal of marriage.

Jeff died in an automobile accident enroute to a hazardous waste managed facility while working for the New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency. Jeff and Nancy missed the opportunities of marriage by several weeks. Jeff will always be remembered at Duke through the Jeffrey B. Taub Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Award.


The names of the recipients of this award are inscribed on a plaque displayed in Hudson hall, as well as being listed below.


  • Courtney Gardner


2016: Carley Gwin

2015: Tiffany Wilson

2014: Lauren Lowman

2013: Lauren Barton

2012: Jeff Farner-Budarz

2011: Jeff Farner-Budarz

2010: David Jassby

2009: Andreas Gondikas

2008: Zachary Hendren

2007: Christine Robichaud

2006: Ellen M. Cooper

2005: Erik J. Rosenfeldt

2004: Hadas Mamane-Gravetz

2003: Ki Don Cho

2001: Baneeta Sabherwal

2000: Ross M. Tabachow

1999: Daniel A. Vallero

1998: Jennifer M. Armstrong

1997: James M. Sperry

1996: Banu Ormeci

1995: Selim Sanin

1994: Aysen Ucuncu Erdingler

1993: Dilek F. Sanin

1992: Zhenhua Jiang

1991: Laura J. Steinberg

1990: Laura J. Steinberg

1989: Laura J. Steinberg

1988: Karen Ann Streich

1987: Brian Wilson Baetz

1986: Tomas Alan Peel

1985: Georgeann Morekas

1984: Richard I. Stessel

1983 (award established): Janet Baker