May 2021 Vol. 76 No.5


George Kurz Named 2021 MVP

The Most Valuable Professional of the underground infrastructure industry will be honored at the annual Underground Construction Technology (UCT) International Conference & Exhibition, in Nashville, Tenn., on July 13. The award, co-sponsored by the Underground Construction Technology Association and Underground Construction magazine, will be presented to George Kurz, P.E., DEE. 

Kurz, of Nashville, Tenn., has 43 years of experience in state and local government, sewer service contracting and consulting engineering. For 31 years, he has focused on the development of a strategic approach for eliminating infiltration and inflow (I/I) in municipal sewer systems and standardizing methods for measuring effectiveness of rehabilitation using flow monitoring. 

A strong believer in industry education, he is a frequent presenter in the educational program at UCT and has also presented pre-show workshops on Sewer Rehabilitation Strategies. All his presentations are renowned for comprehensive, in-depth and unique data delivered in a fun and informative manner. 

Robert A. Carpenter, editor-in-chief of Underground Construction magazine, recently made the announcement on behalf of the UCTA and the magazine. 

“George Kurz truly reflects the type of individual integrity and career accomplishments that epitomize the MVP award,” Carpenter said. “I’ve known George for many years and always admired his dedication to understanding root causes of sewer problems. His work has led to not only important research but practical solutions as well.” 

Lifelong service 

Kurz has also been a major factor in the renowned the RehabZone program at UCT. He was active in the early planning and execution of the ’Zone and still participates as an industry expert answering questions, explaining technology and providing general information to the audience. It is not unusual to find Kurz in the RehabZone with a crowd gathered around him as he shares technical information, anecdotal stories and relevant research information to his listeners. 

Kurz served in the military and is very active in his church. In fact, every year he ventures into Ecuador on a church mission to lend his engineering expertise, along with hands-on work, to help build sewer and water infrastructure for struggling communities. He has initiated and administered development projects for the Episcopal Diocese of Litoral in Guayaquil, Ecuador since 1996. 

Kurz was born in New Jersey in 1948. He enlisted in the Army in 1969 and served 19 months in Vietnam as an Intelligence Sergeant. After his return, he was stationed at the Pentagon in the Army Operations Center under the Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence. 

Following active duty, he completed a B.S. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) at Tennessee Technological University. While in graduate school, he joined the WPCF (now WEF) in 1974 and is now a Life Member. 

Kurz worked for the Tennessee Division of Water Quality Control from 1976 to 1978, reviewing collection system plans, I/I studies and SSES reports. From 1978 to 1990, he was Sewer System Engineer for the Interceptor Sewer System in Chattanooga, Tenn. His responsibilities progressed to the point where he managed 34 people in the sewer maintenance and industrial wastes divisions and a combined annual budget of $2.25 million. 

He also initiated the I/I monitoring and sewer rehabilitation programs and designed the first flow monitoring network of 21 permanent meters. He oversaw procurement of design for the first CSO control project at Ross’s Landing, and designed 1.5 miles of 15-, 24- and 54-inch sewer trunk lining. 

Beginning in 1991, he worked for CTA as part of the Nashville Overflow Abatement Program (OAP) as a project manager and project engineer. Kurz established the standards for hydraulic and I/I flow analysis for the OAP and performed the before-after analyses for 27 project areas, which showed an aggregate I/I reduction of 50 percent annually. 

In 2012, Kurz wrote a “Green Paper” to provoke action by the Tennessee Division of Water Resources to revise its Sewer Design Criteria to handle I/I more effectively statewide and to become proactive for I/I reduction. The Division responded by creating a taskforce to update the Design Criteria, which Kurz co-chaired. 

Industry involvement 

He is an active member of the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association (KT-WEA). As such, Kurz has served and been honored within the organization as: 

  • KT-WEA President (2005-06)
  • KT-WEA Leary Jones “Hall of Fame” Award (2012)
  • WEF Quarter Century Operators Club (2000)
  • WEF Arthur Sidney Bedell Award (1999)
  • WEF 5 “S” Society (1991)
  • WEF “Golden Manhole” Collection System Award
  • Member WEF Collection Systems Committee (various years)

Kurz is also a member of: 

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)–Life Member
  • ASCE “Pipelines 2002” Technical Program Chair
  • ASCE PINS Committee Member (2001-2004)
  • Water Environment Federation–Life Member (1974- present)
  • North American Society for Trenchless Technology
  • State of Tennessee – Sewer Design Criteria Review Committee – co-Chair
  • Order of the Engineer
  • EPA Pretreatment Implementation Review Taskforce
  • Tennessee Municipal League–Environmental Committee
  • Chattanooga-Hamilton County Planning Commission–Natural Resources Committee
  • EPA -ETV Project – Wet Weather Flow Monitoring Group Chairman
  • National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors

Registration for the MVP Luncheon is now open. For individual registration, table or to obtain additional sponsorship information, visit the UCTA website at 

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