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Pedro J.J. Alvarez is the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University, where he also serves as founding Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) and as Director of the Rice WaTER Institute.

Alvarez also serves on the board of directors of the Houston Endowment Inc., which is a private foundation to improve quality of life for the residents of greater Houston. His research interests include environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology, bioremediation, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, water treatment and reuse, and antibiotic resistance control. Professor Alvarez received the B. Eng. Degree in Civil Engineering from McGill University and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is the 2012 Clarke Prize laureate for outstanding research in water science and technology, and also won the AAEES Grand Prize for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science.

Past honors include a Collegiate Excellence in Teaching Award, President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), the Perry McCarty AEESP Founders’ Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Engineering Education and Practice, the AEESP Frontiers in Research Award, the WEF McKee Medal for Groundwater Protection, the SERDP cleanup project of the year award, the Outstanding Achievement Award in Environmental Chemistry from the Chinese Chemical Society, the Brown and Caldwell lifetime Achievement Award for Site Remediation, the ASCE Simon Freese Award, and various best paper awards with his students.

Alvarez is an Executive Editor of Environmental Science and Technology and previously served on the scientific advisory board of the EPA and of the advisory committee of the NSF Engineering Directorate. Prof. Alvarez was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for outstanding contributions to the practice and pedagogy of bioremediation and environmental nanotechnology, as well as to the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Discipline: 
Nanomaterial Synthesis

Research Summary: 
Prof. Alvarez's research focuses on environmental sustainability through bioremediation of contaminated
aquifers, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, microbial-plant interactions,
water treatment and reuse, and environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology.

Research Areas

Chemistry for Energy and Sustainability


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