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The Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize




Visit the Clarke Prize Conference Website at www.clarkeprize.com



Athalie Richardson"Nothing is more important than the careful stewardship and development of our water resources," said Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke, co-founder of NWRI.

Mrs. Clarke recognized the vital importance of water and strongly promoted better water science and technology.

In honor of Mrs. Clarke's vision, NWRI established the Clarke Prize in 1993 to honor outstanding individuals who have implemented better water science research and technology.

The Clarke Prize - a medallion and $50,000 award - is presented annually in the summer. As part of the award ceremony, the Clarke Prize recipient delivers the annual Clarke Lecture.

The Clarke Prize is:


To learn more about Mrs. Clarke, watch the video on the “Twentieth Anniversary Celebration: Tribute to Mrs. Athalie R. Clarke” presented by James Irvine Swinden, grandson of Mrs. Clarke, at the 2013 Clarke Prize Award Ceremony and Lecture.




2017 Clarke Prize Recipient: Dr. Charles HaasCharles Haas


Download Charles N. Haas' Clarke Prize Lecture PowerPoint Presentation here!


Charles N. Haas, Ph.D., is the twenty-fourth recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Haas is the LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. 

A microbiologist and environmental engineer training, Haas pioneered methods to assess and minimize health risks caused by exposure to disease-causing microorganisms, referred to as pathogens, in water and wastewater.  Over the course of his 39-year career, Haas has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications.  Notably, he published a study in February 2017 that suggests sewage workers downstream of hospitals and Ebola treatment centers could potentially contract the virus via inhalation, a risk not currently accounted for by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the WHO.  He also served on an NWRI Expert Panel to provide advice to the State of California on developing water recycling criteria for indirect potable reuse through surface water augmentation and determining the feasibility of developing criteria for direct potable reuse.    
Among his most notable achievements, Haas’ work on methods to concentrate and examine viruses (including fecal indicator viruses) in groundwater has become the standard for the water industry. For example, he developed an innovative filtration technique – known as the MDS filter – that was more practical and effective than conventional filters and, ultimately, helped develop a better understanding of the occurrence, concentration, and public health significance of viruses in the environment. His work in this area informed the analytical method used for viruses in the EPA’s Ground Water Rule, which standardized practices in the U.S. to detect and control the presence of microbial pathogens (particularly viruses) in well water.

Haas’ most widely cited book, Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (1999), was the first complete guide for measuring and evaluating the risks to humans posed by disease-causing organisms in food, water, air, and other environmental pathways.  As used today, quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) involves hazard identification, dose response, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.  This valuable tool has influenced the development of public health guidance and policies by prominent organizations both nationally and internationally.  The USEPA has cited Haas’ research in the Surface Water Treatment Rule and its iterations (including the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule) and Ground Water Rule (2006).  Haas also used his expertise in QMRA to help the World Health Organization (WHO) develop both the Guidelines for Drinking Water and Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta, and Greywater.  Today, Haas is known as the “Father of QMRA.” 



2017 Clarke Prize Ceremony on October 19

The Clarke Prize was presented to Haas on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at the Twenty-Fourth Annual NWRI Clarke Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony, held in Irvine, California. He received the award from James Irvine Swinden and Morton Irvine Smith, grandsons of NWRI’s co-founder, the late Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke. The award ceremony preceded the annual NWRI Clarke Prize Conference on Urban Water Sustainability, featuring a mix of leading-edge research by academics complemented with practical case studies by industry practitioners.
To learn more about the ceremony and the conference, go to http://www.clarkeprize.com/.