Faculty Profile

Curriculum Vitae

John H. Koon

Professor of the Practice
Environmental Engineering
EST 3218


  • 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

Dr. John Koon, P.E., is an environmental engineer, licensed as a professional engineer, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, an EnSP (Envision Sustainability Orifessuibak) conferred by the Institute for Sustainable Infrascture, 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.


  • 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


  • 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
  • National Academy of Engineering, 2019
  • Board Certified Environmental Engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
  • Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer by the ASCE American Academy of Water Resource Engineers


  • 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.
  • 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.