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Paul Westerhoff Named
2019 Clarke Prize Laureate

National Water Research Institute (NWRI) presented the 2019 Clarke Prize to Dr. Paul Westerhoff, Regents Professor and Fulton Chair of Environmental Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. 


The award was presented to Westerhoff on October 19, 2019, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering, in Irvine, California. NWRI presents the annual $50,000 prize to recognize researchers that solve real-world water problems.


At the award ceremony, Westerhoff delivered a lecture titled, "Foreseeing Unintentional Water Challenges That Affect Human and Ecosystem Health." The lecture acknowledged how water treatment has greatly improved human health, but how more advanced water treatment can unintentionally create different health hazards in drinking water.

“Dr. Westerhoff’s innovations in interdisciplinary water research have touched on many aspects of water quality and have helped create a healthier drinking water supply,” said NWRI Executive Director Kevin Hardy. “His unanimous endorsement by the Clarke Prize Executive Committee is a testament to his contributions and his standing in the water community.”

Westerhoff’s research touches on a wide range of water issues, from watersheds to nanomaterials, and from rivers, groundwater, and wastewater to water condensation. His work has focused on natural organic material and nitrogen in water, disinfection by-product formation and control, water reuse, control of endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals, and characterization and control of nanoparticles.

He has advanced adoption of the One Water concept—the idea that all water, regardless of the source, is part of the water cycle and is an important resource.

“It is an incredible honor to be named among such an accomplished group of scientists and engineers,” Westerhoff said. “This would not be possible without great students, awesome collaborators, and the support of a great university.”

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In addition to teaching in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University, Westerhoff is:

  • Director of the EPA Center for the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCnano)

  • Deputy Director of the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT)

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

He has also served on expert panels or committees for the direct potable reuse projects in El Paso, Texas, and Los Angeles County, California; the EPA Environmental Engineering Science Advisory Board; and an EPA committee overseeing a major report on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. Westerhoff is in the top one percent of environmental authors, with an h-index of 86 and more than 270 peer-reviewed journal articles that have been cited over 30,000 times.

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