Dourdeville Lecture

About the Lecture

Established in 2015, the Dana M. Dourdeville Lecture on Engineering in Service to Society aims to bring high-profile speakers to campus whose career and impact embody the spirit of engineering in service to society. The speakers should inspire students to see the engineering discipline as one having an impact on society that is both profound and transformative. 


David Sedlak

David Sedlak
Plato Malozemoff Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
UC Berkeley

November 12, 2020 at 5 pm

Technological Solutions for the Rest of the World’s Water Crises

Hundreds of millions of people living in the world’s wealthiest cities rely upon desalination and other advanced water purification techniques to solve problems related to water security and water quality.  Despite the tremendous technological advances that have been made in recent decades, people facing water crises in low- and middle-income countries and in rural communities within wealthy countries rarely employ modern solutions because they are either too expensive or complicated.  In this talk, Professor David Sedlak will describe the key water crises facing people outside of wealthy cities and the challenges that engineers face in their efforts to repurpose existing technologies to provide robust and affordable solutions to the world’s other water crises.

David Sedlak is the Plato Malozemoff Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.  He is also the Director of the Berkeley Water Center, Deputy Director of the NSF’s Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure and Master Cartographer for the National Alliance for Water Innovation.  His research on topics such as potable water reuse and nature-based water treatment systems has provided him with insights into the application of systems-level thinking to the diffusion of water technology.  In 2014, he described the ways in which technologies are affecting water crises facing cities in wealthy countries in his award-winning book, Water 4.0.  He is currently attempting to apply these and other ideas to a broader set of water challenges.