Menachem Elimelech appointed Sterling Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Menachem Elimelech
Menachem Elimelech

Menachem Elimelech, who researches physical and chemical processes at the nexus of water and energy, has been appointed the Sterling Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. His appointment was effective Feb. 20.

The Sterling Professorship is awarded to a tenured faculty member considered one of the best in his or her field and is one of the university’s highest faculty honors. Elimelech is the first Yale engineer to be named for this professorship since its establishment in 1920.

Elimelech is on the faculty of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The research conducted by his group specifically examines membrane-based processes for energy-efficient desalination and wastewater reuse; advanced materials for next-generation water decontamination technologies; and environmental applications of nanomaterials.

He has received major awards in recognition of his pioneering research. Especially notable are the Eni Award for Protection of the Environment in 2015, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2017, and, in 2005, the Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. 

Elimelech has authored more than 450 refereed journal publications, including invited articles in Science and Nature, and is the lead author of the book “Particle Deposition and Aggregation” (1995). He is a Highly Cited Researcher in two categories: environment/ecology and chemistry.

He has advised 43 Ph.D. students and 37 postdoctoral researchers, many of whom now hold leading positions in academia and industry. In recognition of his excellence in and dedication to teaching and mentoring, he received the W.M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 1994, the Yale University Graduate Mentoring Award in 2004, and the Yale University Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize in 2012.

Elimelech received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University. In his first appointment, Elimelech served as professor and vice chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. Upon coming to Yale in 1998, he founded Yale’s Environmental Engineering Program. The program rose to international prominence and has been ranked in the top 10 of the U.S. News & World Report’s Graduate Engineering Rankings for the past six years. 

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