Eric Hoek, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has been chosen by the National Water Research Institute as the 2022 Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize laureate — one of the highest honors in water research, science, technology or policy in the United States. 

Hoek is the faculty director of UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge — an interdisciplinary campuswide initiative designed to help transform Los Angeles into the world’s most sustainable megacity by 2050. Hoek also directs the Nanomaterials and Membrane Technology Research Lab, focusing on ways to produce clean water and energy more efficiently through advances in nanomaterials, membrane technologies and electrochemistry. 

Most recently, Hoek is part of a multi-institutional team that was awarded a three-year, $3.3 million grant from the National Alliance for Water Innovation to develop a new class of reverse osmosis membranes that can effectively treat high-salinity industrial wastewater. The tech breakthrough will significantly reduce both the energy consumption and the costs of recovering usable water from high-salinity brines by up to 50%.

Established in 1994, the Clarke Prize is awarded annually to thought leaders from wide-ranging disciplines and includes $50,000 and a prize lecture. Previous recipients have developed technologies to improve flood forecasting, clean up soils and wetlands, model acid rain impacts, and detect and disinfect pathogens in water supplies.

Hoek is also a member of UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, as well as a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Read the full news release about Hoek’s award on the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering website.