Paul Westerhoff Named 2019 Clarke Prize Laureate

Full article provided here from NWRI: link

ASU Now article provided here: link

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

 NWRI presents the annual $50,000 prize to recognize researchers that solve real-world water problems.

“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.”

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.

Westerhoff will deliver the 2019 Clarke Prize Lecture during the award ceremony on October 19, 2019, in Irvine, California.

For more information about the 2019 Clarke Prize, contact

ACR Special Issue: Water for Two Worlds: Urban and Rural Communities

Special Issue in Accounts of Chemical Research Lead by Westerhoff, Boyer, Linden 2019

Supplying clean water and sanitation are major accomplishments of the 20th century, but growing populations, aging infrastructure, and changing water quality challenges place new stresses on water in both affluent and developing countries. Within rapidly growing smart and connected megacities, there are opportunities to reuse water and use water infrastructure to recover critical elements and even electrical power, and these will be enabled through interconnected cyber–physical treatment systems. New materials and technologies are also enabling smaller, modular, and inexpensive systems that purify water. There is an emerging recognition that different technologies are needed for and within cities and rural populations, and one technology cannot simply be scaled up or down in size to meet all needs because of the complex biogeochemistry within waters. This special issue, guest-edited by experts in the field Paul Westerhoff and Treavor Boyer (Arizona State University) and Karl Linden (University of Colorado, Boulder), presents examples of the diverse challenges in this field and approaches to improving drinking and waste water purification or recycling.

Two Pod-Casts by Westerhoff for NNCO

(March 22, 2018)  World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22nd. The day focuses attention on the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in developing countries. The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is celebrating this year’s World Water Day by releasing a series of videos and podcasts, and by highlighting the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI) on Water Sustainability—and the role of nanotechnology in providing clean and affordable water solutions.

Podcasts: As part of the NNCO’s ongoing series, two podcasts will be released for World Water Day. One podcast features Arizona State University’s Paul Westerhoff discussing the bold new research efforts at the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment Nano-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT).

The Second pod-case is at :

NNI Podcast by Westerhoff: A NEWT, a Nanoparticle, and an Engineer Walk into a Lab: Using Nanotech to Purify Water

A NEWT, a Nanoparticle, and an Engineer Walk into a Lab: Using Nanotech to Purify Water

For World Water Day, Dr. Paul Westerhoff discusses using nanotechnology to purify, polish, and remove pollutants from water. He also talks about bringing clean water to places that are off the water grid.

Follow link here:

Our paper was including the Nature Geoscience Focused issue on “Inland waters under threat”

ature Geoscience has just been published and features a bunch of great papers and opinion pieces about inland aquatic systems. We’ve taken the opportunity to put together a special focus collection on inland waters, their many contributions to ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles, and the challenges they face due to climate change and human actions.

High levels of endocrine pollutants in US streams during low flow due to insufficient wastewater dilution

Cool YouTube Videos developed by our students

Click here to find more

Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NEWT)

Videos created by members of the NSF funded Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Engineering Research Center – a collaboration between Rice University, Arizona State University, Yale University, and the University of Texas El Paso.

notechnology limit biofouling in water treatment?

How silver nanoparticles can help reduce biofouling in water filters

How silver nanoparticles can help reduce biofouling in water filters

How silver nanoparticles can help reduce biofouling in water filters

How silver nanoparticles can help reduce biofouling in water filters?




Portrait of Paul Westerhoff with a caption of His ideas are transformational . . . and he's never satisfied with small, incremental advances in knowledge,” says a colleague of new ASU Regent’s Professor Paul Westerhoff. “Because of his persistence and dedication, Paul's work will always be on the cutting edge." Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter.

Paul Westerhoff figures he was “destined to be an engineer.” But that is mostly because while growing up, he jokes, “I just didn’t know anything else existed.”

His father was an environmental engineer. One of his two older brothers became an electrical engineer, the other a mechanical engineer. It just seemed natural for him to follow in the family footsteps.

Still, Westerhoff took his time in college before declaring a major. The only thing he was decided on was that “I wanted to do work involved with things outside.”

He liked the outdoors and gravitated toward “doing things around water,” specifically lakes, streams and rivers.

It was a course in hydrology — the study of water in the environment —that finally fixed him onto a specific educational track.

“It was the first time I had a class that really integrated my interests in mathematics, statistics and technology, and the teacher talked about how all that could relate to rivers,” Westerhoff recalls. “Everything just came together for me at that point.”


The water thing has worked out well for him. Westerhoff, a professor of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, is today a well-recognized leader in water treatment and water safety research.

He has received many of the most highly regarded awards for his work in the field, and his more than 200 peer-reviewed journal publications have made him among the most highly cited researchers in environment and ecology studies.

He directs a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency research network that teams nine universities to study the lifecycles of nanomaterials and their impacts on the environment and human health.

He is deputy director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment. The center is developing technologies to provide clean water to millions of people in areas throughout the United States that still lack it.


During his 22 years at ASU, he has also received accolades for his skills as a teacher, mentor and administrator.

Westerhoff has garnered awards for his work mentoring doctoral students and teaching undergraduates, and has been instrumental in helping to establish the Fulton Schools’ graduate and undergraduate degree programs in environmental engineering.

He has also served at various times as a civil and environmental department chair, the founding director of the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, the Fulton Schools Associate Dean for Research, the ASU Vice Provost for Academic Research Programming, and Senior Advisor on Science and Engineering to the ASU Provost.

In 2016 the Fulton Schools created a new position and he was named the interim Vice Dean of Research and Innovation.

Why take on the extra administrative tasks on top of his research and teaching?

“I just get bored,” he says,” “and I need to be intellectually challenged.”


With or without boredom as motivation, Westerhoff’s range of achievements has now earned him designation as a Regents’ Professor, the highest honor bestowed on faculty members at Arizona’s three state universities.

The title recognizes accomplishments in research, education, scholarship, creative endeavors and public service that have brought national and international distinction.

Colleagues attest to the widespread impact of Westerhoff’s contributions.

“His research is highly relevant to society because insufficient access to clean water is a major limiting factor to human capacity,” says Pedro J. Alvarez, the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University and director of the Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment research center.

“Paul excels in scientific rigor. He does a great job of bridging the interface between the discovery-driven culture of science and the innovation-driven culture of engineering,” Alvarez adds. “It’s rare to find someone with such depth and breadth in issues related to water treatment.”

Menachem Elimelech, the Roberto Goizueta Professor at Yale University, points in particular to Westerhoff’s essential work exploring the environmental implications and applications of engineering nanomaterials as only one of his “numerous important contributions to the field of environmental engineering.”

University of Colorado Boulder Professor of Environmental Engineering R. Scott Summers sums up, “There are only a few who are able to visualize solutions to major challenges, and fewer still who can clearly articulate those solutions. Paul has that gift.”

“Paul’s research is never ordinary,” says Clemson University’s Vice President of Research Tanju Karanfil. “He’s always looking for solutions to environmental problems that are out of the box, and he’s never satisfied with small, incremental advances in knowledge. His ideas are transformational, which is exactly what our field needs. Because of his persistence and dedication, Paul’s work will always be on the cutting edge.”


Westerhoff doesn’t view his new Regents’ Professor status as a platform for shining a spotlight on career success. He hopes only that it might in some way boost his ability to make further impacts in the professional endeavors he cares about most.

In his new vice dean position, he wants to foster a stronger innovation mindset among the Fulton Schools’ 300-plus tenure-track faculty.

That involves them zeroing in more directly on use-inspired research pursuits with entrepreneurial potential.

“It’s the idea that progress isn’t just publishing in research journals, but in getting patents or starting a company,” he explains. “That might mean focusing on producing results that could have important concrete benefits rather than just finding out more about something that is merely interesting.”

“Paul is very creative and has a tremendous skill for identifying timely, relevant and interesting challenges,” says Julie Beth Zimmerman, an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University. “Not only is he adept at getting others to join the cause, he has a powerful gift in bringing out the best in those individuals, and even more importantly, realizing outcomes greater than the sum of the individual collaborators.”

Westerhoff is leading by example on the entrepreneurship front. He and his wife, Kelly, also an engineer (they met in graduate school), are forming a start-up that would license some of the water-treatment technologies he has developed and move them toward commercialization.

“I am manager and technical advisor,” he says. “She is the company president.”


He also wants to continue using his expertise to help communities through his work as a member of an EPA science advisory board, as well as with the information and advice he has been providing to local governments and public groups that have been regularly seeking his consultation for more than a decade.

He has been participating in efforts to find water treatment, safety and pollution solutions for a number of sizable municipalities and urban regions, including Los Angeles, as well as for rural agricultural and ranching areas.

“It’s really interesting to help bring science and engineering experience into the mix of making public policy, and to see it come together toward something positive,” he says.


With all of this multifaceted work on his agenda, Westerhoff still keeps teaching and mentorship high among his priorities.

He says one of best rewards of his job is watching the young undergraduates he teaches transition “from looking clueless and confused to starting to figure things out, to finally mastering complex concepts and ideas.”

With the advanced students, he likes pushing them to excel beyond the classroom — urging them to compete for scholarships, learn how to pitch themselves to employers, map out their career-planning strategies and develop their own research pursuits and their own creative approaches to problem solving.

Westerhoff’s measure of success in his role as an educator and research director is a simple one: “It’s when I’m learning as much from the students as they’re learning from me.”