2016 Fuller Award Honors Eric Lee
Eric Lee began his career with the City of Lincoln Water Division in 1990 as the laboratory manager. Eric became a Grade 1 water operator in 2001 and in 2002 Eric was promoted to his current position of Assistant Superintendent of Water Production. In this position, Eric is responsible for overseeing operations of Lincoln's well field, treatment plant, and transmission systems.
Eric is passionate about providing Lincoln's 80,000 customers a safe, high quality and reliable water supply. Eric manages water operations to ensure consistent compliance with regulations while also focusing attention on energy conservation and controlling operating costs. During his tenure, he has lived through the flood of 1997 which had serious impacts to the operation of the plant. Eric also managed the well field water supply during drought events in 2002 and 2012.
Lincoln's two treatment plants have undergone numerous expansions and improvements through the years. These construction projects required Eric to be creative and innovative in operating the facilities to continue safe, reliable service to customers. Eric has been instrumental in implementing new technology and processes including the installation of horizontal collector wells, ozone treatment, and ozone generation with liquid oxygen, well field modeling, biofilm control, filter optimization, and NPDES compliance.
Eric has served the Nebraska Section AWWA in several capacities, including as chair of the association in 2014. He has been active in numerous committees and conferences through the years and recently participated on the Nebraska Top Ops team in Chicago this year. Eric has been involved in several Water Research Foundation projects, most recently participating in research work related to ozonation.
His work and sharing of knowledge have helped to advance technologies in the water industry by providing education and training to other water professionals.
Eric has a real passion for the water supply profession and enjoys sharing that knowledge with others, especially children and young professionals aspiring to have a career in this same field. Eric has hosted many guests, dignitaries, and elected officials on plant tours providing insight and perspective on the water supply profession. He has long supported Lincoln's Earth Wellness Festival by giving hands-on instruction to children, teachers, and parents regarding water quality and water supply. He has always made a special effort to stay in touch with the professors and the environmental sciences program at his college after graduation and was awarded "honored graduate" by the college for his successful career development post-graduation.
He is also a World War II history buff. This stems from his father being a Pearl Harbor survivor who was stationed on the USS Nevada at the time of the attack. He could tell you just about anything you would ever want to know about the attack and the war that followed. Eric is preserving the memory of those Pearl Harbor Survivors and that fateful day as a member of the National Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors and is currently working with other members to form a local Nebraska chapter. Eric has been fortunate to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii, where he met first hand several of the few remaining survivors, and also the National WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.
Eric enjoys playing the drums in his free time which he has done since his early high school years. He has played in numerous bands over the years, sometimes two at a time, ranging anywhere from current cover bands to rock and roll to original music. His favorite genre is Southern rock.
Pheasant hunting season is Eric's favorite time of the year, which he now spends with his new German shorthair puppy, Rosie. In more recent years he has added spring turkey hunting to his list of hobbies and always enjoys a good day of fishing as well.
Eric enjoys traveling with family and friends, with one of his top vacation destinations being Hawaii. His daughter, Elizabeth, shares this same love for Hawaii and was married there two years ago at a beautiful beachside ceremony.
Eric has a knack for remembering all sorts of interesting facts which makes him one of the best trivia players around. Anyone who dares to play against him usually suffers a loss and of course everyone always wants him to be on their team! He also a great pick for a Top Ops team. Eric's wife, Mary, and mother, June, are in attendance tonight. We congratulate our 2016 Fuller Award honoree, Eric Lee.