Crittenden Awarded Clarke Prize

The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) announced that BBISS Director, John C. Crittenden, will be the twenty-second recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Consisting of a medallion and $50,000 award, the NWRI Clarke Prize is given each year to recognize research accomplishments that solve real-world water problems and to highlight the importance of the continued funding for water research. Crittenden was selected as the 2015 recipient for his outstanding contributions to treating chemical contaminants in water and his leadership in addressing water demand for transportation, energy production, and domestic use in a holistic, sustainable manner. “I consider the Clarke Prize to be one of the greatest honors that one who conducts water research can receive,” said Crittenden.

With a career spanning 37 years, Crittenden has been a pioneer in the research and development of several key water treatment technologies and processes that are in widespread use today.  Crittenden and his colleagues worked with NASA to alleviate the costs of sending fresh water to the International Space Station by helping to design a water recycling system tailored to treat the impaired waters that are unique to space flight. NASA installed the system on the ISS in 2012 where it is still in use.  Also among his achievements is the 2011 textbook, Water Treatment: Principles and Design, on which he served as senior author.  Crittenden's body of work in pollution prevention and green chemistry led the American Institute of Engineers to award him as one of the 100 Eminent Chemical Engineers in Modern Times.

Crittenden is also distinguished among his peers for his vision and dedication to ensuring the sustainability of urban water resources. In 2008, Crittenden was recruited to Georgia Tech to direct the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems. BBISS was established to take a comprehensive, trans-disciplinary approach in creating technological, management, and policy strategies to ensure a sustainable future. Crittenden aims to understand water resources in context with other major urban infrastructure systems, such as energy and transportation systems. “His work in sustainability is particularly bold and innovative, and will change the way we will promote water security, enhance economic development, and alleviate concerns of wars over water,” said Joseph B. Hughes, Ph.D, P.E., DEE, of Drexel University.

The Clarke Prize will be presented to Crittenden on Friday, October 30, 2015, at the Twenty-Second Annual NWRI Clarke Prize Conference, Lecture, and Award Ceremony, to be held in Huntington Beach, California. Established in 1993, the Clarke Prize is one of only a dozen water related prizes awarded worldwide and has been distinguished by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards as one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

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The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) was founded in 1991 by a group of Southern California water agencies in partnership with the Joan Irvine Smith and Athalie R. Clarke Foundation to promote the protection, maintenance, and restoration of water supplies and to protect the freshwater and marine environments through the development of cooperative research work. NWRI’s member agencies include Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Irvine Ranch Water District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Orange County Sanitation District, Orange County Water District, and West Basin Municipal Water District.

John C. Crittenden, Ph.D., P.E., N.A.E, C.A.E., is the Director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems at Georgia Institute of Technology, holds the Hightower Chair, is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Environmental Technologies, and a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS