Environment

Water running into a street drain

Super sand

04/14/20 — Engineers have developed a mineral-coated sand that can soak up toxic metals from water, cleaning up stormwater as it replenishes aquifers.
water fountain

Berkeley researchers help secure water future

09/27/19 — The National Alliance for Water Innovation , which includes researchers from Berkeley Engineering, has been awarded a five-year, $100 million Energy-Water Desalination Hub by the U.S. Department of Energy to address water security issues in the United States.
black carbon sensors

Making the invisible visible

07/22/19 Berkeley Lab — Berkeley researchers have developed a new type of sensor network that is affordable and capable of tracking soot (black carbon). With more than 100 custom-built sensors installed across West Oakland for 100 days, the team created the largest black carbon monitoring network deployed in a single city.
Illustration of reserchers discussing fire response techniques

Modern technologies needed to prevent wildfires

01/23/19 Daily Californian — In an op-ed, mechanical engineering professor Tarek Zohdi writes about his new Fire Research Group's focus on actions needed to combat fire emergencies in both wildland and urban environments.
Professor Joyashree Roy and project team member Sreeman Mypati tasting water from ECAR plant.

This innovation removes deadly arsenic from India’s water

12/12/18 The Better India — Everyday, tens of millions of people drink water that significantly increases their risk of cancer and other deadly diseases. UC Berkeley professor Ashok Gadgil amd Asian Institute of Technology's Joyashree Roy hope to fix that with an efficient and cost-effective system called Electrochemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) for removing arsenic contamination from drinking water.
Trees burning in smoky forest

New group to explore engineering solutions for wildfires

11/16/18 Fung Institute — The newly formed Fire Research Group, led by mechanical engineering professor Tarek Zohdi, brings together scientists from UC Berkeley, the Space Sciences Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to find more effective engineering solutions for uncontrolled wildfires.

Fire & water

11/14/18 — Restoring natural fire regimes to California's mountains could be a win-win-win: more water, improved biodiversity and a reduced risk of catastrophic fires.
Floating ice melting in the water

Can the world change course on climate change?

10/15/18 — In an episode of the Knowledge‌‌@‌Wharton podcast, Berkeley professor of energy Daniel Kammen and Wharton's Brian Berkey discusses a new United Nations report warning that severe impacts of global warming are likely to occur by 2040.
Aerial view of cleanup project at Savannah River Site

Algorithm provides early warning system for groundwater contamination

08/30/18 Berkeley Lab — National laboratory researchers led by Berkeley Lab's Haruko Wainwright, a new associate adjunct professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, have developed a low-cost method for real-time monitoring of groundwater pollutants using commonly available sensors.
Discarded cup carried to storm drain by runoff water

Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants

08/30/18 — Berkeley engineers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water using mineral-coated sand, potentially addressing the needs of water-stressed communities that are searching for ways to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water.
House and car destroyed by tornado in Texas. Photo by Volkan Yuksel / Wikimedia Commons

NSF funds extreme events reconnaissance network

08/15/18 PEER — The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to the Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) Network, which aims to improve reporting and coordination by the natural hazards engineering community in the aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme events. UC Berkeley is one of StEER's three primary nodes.
Scans comparing the Hume Lake Dam before and after drainage

Dam scanning

06/01/18 — CEE professor Robert Kayen used lidar technology to evaluate the health of the Hume Lake Dam.
Diagram of the parts of the new efficient wind turbine: Tower, blades, concentrator and camouflage

Redesigning wind power

06/01/18 — Berkeley Engineering students have designed a wind turbine that is quiet, efficient and protects birds.
Joseph Charbonnet and his Grad Slam presentation

Berkeley water engineer lands 2018 ‘Slammy’

05/04/18 Graduate Division — At the UC-wide Grad Slam competition on May 3, environmental engineering doctoral student Joseph Charbonnet brought home the first-place ‘Slammy' - and $9,000 in prize money - for his three-minute talk on using manganese-coated sand to capture, clean and re-use stormwater.
Clarity team working on computers

Reducing air pollution with smart design

02/13/18 CITRIS — Air pollution is a global epidemic that kills more than 3.2 million people prematurely each year. Clarity, an environmental tech startup out of the CITRIS Foundry, produces smart air-quality monitoring systems designed to reduce this number.