The Michigan Engineer News Center

CEE Alumnus Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Environmental Engineering Professor and CEE alumnus, Pedro Alvarez, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). | Short Read

Environmental Engineering Professor and CEE alumnus, Pedro Alvarez, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a U.S. engineer. The NAE selected Alvarez for his contributions to the practice and pedagogy of bioremediation and environmental nanotechnology.

Alvarez received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan in 1992. As a doctoral student, Alvarez started his research into bioremediation, a process that uses bacteria and other microorganisms to remove contaminants from water.

On February 7, The National Academy of Engineering elected 83 new members and 16 foreign members. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,293 and the number of foreign members to 262.

Established in 1964, the NAE advises the federal government on matters related to technology and engineering. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology.

EnlargePedro Alvarez
IMAGE:  Pedro Avalrez

Alvarez is currently the director of Nanosystems Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment. He is the George R. Brown Professor and chair for the department of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University in Houston.

Professor Alvarez is a fellow and former president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and an associate editor of the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science and Technology. He is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the International Water Association and the Water Environment Federation.

Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 30, 2018.

Pedro Alvarez
Jessica Petras


Jessica Petras
Marketing Communications Specialist

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

(734) 764-9876

GG Brown 2105E

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read