Dr. Pedro J. J. Alvarez is the George R. Brown Professor of Engineering and Director of the Nanosystems
Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) in the Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University. He previously taught at the University of
Iowa, where he also served as Associate Director for the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing and as
Honorary Consul for Nicaragua. Dr. 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
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.
Dr. Alvarez is the 2012 Clarke Prize Recipient and also won the 2014 AAEES Grand Prize for Excellence
in Environmental Engineering and Science. He is a Diplomat of the American Academy of
Environmental Engineers, a Fellow of AAAS, ASCE, IWA, WEF and the Leopold Leadership
Foundation, and a founding member of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences. Past honors include
President of AEESP, the Malcolm Pirnie-AEESP Frontiers in Research Award, the WEF McKee Medal
for Groundwater Protection, the SERDP cleanup project of the year award, the Button of the City of
Valencia, the Collegiate Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Iowa; the Alejo Zuloaga
Medal from the Universidad de Carabobo, Venezuela; a Career Award from the National Science
Foundation; a Rackham Fellowship, and various best paper awards with his students.
Dr. Alvarez currently serves as Associate Editor of Environmental Science and Technology. Additionally,
he serves as honorary professor at Nankai University in Tianjin and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in
Beijing, China, and as adjunct professor at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianopolis,
Brazil, and recently completed service on the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.