David Sedlak’s research focuses the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe and sustainable systems to manage water resources.

Why you should listen

Author, Professor and Director of the Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley, David Sedlak has developed cost-effective, safe and sustainable systems to manage water resources. He is particularly interested in the development of local sources of water, and his research has addressed water reuse–the practice of using municipal wastewater effluent to sustain aquatic ecosystems and augment drinking water supplies as well as the treatment and use of urban runoff to contaminated groundwater from contaminated industrial sites as water supplies.

In recent years, Sedlak's research on the fate of wastewater-derived contaminants has received considerable attention. He began this research in 1996 when he developed simple methods for measuring steroid hormones in wastewater. Since that time, he and his students have studied the fate of hormones, pharmaceuticals, toxic disinfection byproducts and other chemicals. His research team has also studied approaches for remediating contaminated soil and groundwater by in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and advanced oxidation processes.

He also is the author of Water 4.0, a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems.

David Sedlak’s TED talk