This award, presented by the UIC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, recognizes Dr. Reddy’s excellence in using research as a tool to improve society and promote environmental stewardship. His research focuses on solving a number of emerging environmental challenges in waste management using innovative approaches, like phytoremediation—a green technology that utilizes plants to mitigate environmental problems without having to excavate contaminant material and dispose of it elsewhere. In contrast to traditional remediation, Dr. Reddy’s research takes a holistic approach that strives to maximize the environmental, social, and economic benefits of a project. He developed a new Social Sustainability Evaluation Matrix to assess socio-economic considerations in selecting remedial technologies based on site-specific conditions. This uniquely addresses the challenging issue of social acceptance and equity in remedial decisions. In addition to National Science Foundation support, Dr. Reddy has collaborated with the Chicago Park District and Argonne National Laboratory on multiple projects, including a field-scale demonstration of phytoremediation at a heavily impacted wetland site in southwest Chicago. This provides value to both the research community and neighborhood, as the restored wetland will eventually serve as a nature reserve and recreational area for local residents.