ACAA Educational Foundation

Mission Statement:

The ACAA Educational Foundation is a financially self-sustaining, not-for-profit organization which promotes understanding of CCP management and utilization through communications and outreach initiatives that are aimed at government and industry decision makers and the public. Foundation initiatives consist of awarding university level scholarships, development and distribution of educational materials, financial support for research, and sponsorship of CCP forums. - Last updated June 28, 2006

ACAA Educational Foundation 2016-2017 Scholarship Program Announcement

ACAA Educational Foundation 2016-2017 Scholarship Program Submittal Instructions

Tips for ACAA Educational Foundation Scholarship Applicants

ACAA Educational Foundation 2016-2017 Scholarship Application(right click to save/download the file)

2015-2016 Scholarship Winners

The American Coal Ash Association (ACAA) Educational Foundation has awarded $9000 in scholarships honoring coal ash beneficial use industry leaders to three university students with interests in advancing the sustainable and environmentally responsible use of coal combustion products (CCPs). 

The 2015-2016 scholarship winners were chosen from a field of applicants who submitted essays on topics related to the beneficial use of CCPs, which are materials produced when coal is burned to generate electricity.


Trevor Williamson, a Ph.D. candidate in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas – Austin was selected to receive a $5000 scholarship that was named in honor of David C. Goss. Goss is a former Executive Director of ACAA who was instrumental in establishing the Educational Foundation.

Ryan Holmes, a M.S. candidate in Civil Engineering at the University of Missouri – Kansas City was selected to receive a $2500 award that was named in honor of John Faber. Faber served as ACAA’s first Executive Director, beginning in 1968.

Rich Pepper, a J.D. candidate in Law at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, was selected  to receive  a third award in an amount of $1500  at the ACAAEF board discretion.


Meet Our Winners

Trevor Williamson, University of Texas – Austin.  Trevor is currently researching the understanding of the chemistry that governs the behavior novel, high-volume fly ash cementitious binders. In his essay, he wrote about his passion for the environment, and desire to live at the intersection of research and education, and a career in materials research. Williamsons essay supports the single most important strategy for improving concrete’s sustainability is increasing the amount of fly ash we use to replace portland cement in concrete mixtures.


Ryan Holmes, University of Missouri – Kansas City.  Ryan’s essay discussed Permeable reactive concrete (PRC) is a promising method of remediating heavy metals from ground and surface waters that has been developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  By removing heavy metals from the contaminated sites using a waste product that would normally be landfilled, research is endeavoring to valorize the fly ash while improving the environment. PRC as a product could become the most cost effective and resilient remediation technique for heavy metals and several other contaminates, and could prevent catastrophes.


Rich Pepper, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  Has a career goal focused on the utility field.    After law school, he will be working with a large Atlanta law firm’s environmental section, assisting utility companies and solid waste disposers comply with new EPA regulations and defend against citizen suits.  His essay focused on the CCR Rule’s Applicability to New and Existing Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.


ln addition to receiving the scholarships, recipients were offered the opportunity to present their essays at the ACAA 2016 Winter Meeting. The winning scholarship essays are being published in their entirety an upcoming edition of ASH at Work magazine.

The ACAAEF Scholarship Committee was exceptionally pleased by the quality of scholarship applications and selected five other outstanding students to receive Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically):

  • Jenberu Feyyisa, PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of North Carolina at Charlotte;
  • Xiangyu Liu, PhD candidate in Petroleum Engineering at University of Texas at Austin;
  • Mina Mohebbi, PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.

The ACAA Educational Foundation Scholarship Program is an annual competition that aims to foster and support students’ interests in CCP research and sustainable use.

By Laws - Last updated June 28, 2006