Dr. Leon Downing joins Black & Veatch as Water Technology Group innovation leader | Black & Veatch

Dr. Leon Downing joins Black & Veatch as Water Technology Group innovation leader

Global resource recovery expert to provide technology guidance on sustainability projects

Dr. Leon Downing
Dr. Leon Downing

Black & Veatch today announced its addition of wastewater treatment and resource recovery expert Leon Downing as a principal process and innovation leader in the global construction, engineering and consulting company’s Water Technology Group.

As an expert in resource recovery design and modeling, Downing will provide technology leadership and client-focused process engineering support for Black & Veatch projects globally. He initially will focus on the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, including projects from Toledo and Minneapolis to the Gulf of Mexico.

Downing, a senior process engineer, has guided and assisted in major resource recovery projects across the United States, United Kingdom and Denmark. Those efforts have included pilot projects and demonstrations, applied research, compliance plans, operational optimization and energy roadmaps, as well as commissioning and training services. Downing’s process experience encompasses phosphorus removal, granulation of activated sludge, low dissolved oxygen community structure, and membrane aerated biofilm reactor, among other technologies. Downing also is an accomplished process modeler.  He serves as the vice-chair of the Modeling Expert Group of the Americas, a subcommittee of the Water Environment Federation, and he has worked on industry-leading tools for using Monte Carlo simulations to help develop data-driven, decision-making tools for utilities worldwide.

Before joining Black & Veatch, Downing served as a senior technologist, mentoring and supervising process engineers across the U.S. He also served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, teaching a graduate-level course about wastewater treatment and resource recovery. Downing’s involvement with the Water Environment Federation has included chairing various committees and authoring numerous publications. He has done work in the Denver area as well as in Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana.

“Leon’s expertise enhances our water business’ position as an industry leader in advanced process technology solutions,” said Mark Steichen, a Black & Veatch associate vice president and director of the company’s wastewater treatment technology segment. “With his passion for innovation in process engineering, Leon will increase the value we can deliver for clients and further differentiate us in the marketplace.”

Downing earned bachelor’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville before getting master’s and doctorate degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Notre Dame.


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