“Hard to Swallow: Is there enough safe water for our future?”
Professor Brian Berkowitz
Weizmann Institute of Science
December 3, 2019 11am
Born in 1959, in Edmonton, Canada, Prof. Berkowitz received his BSc and MSc degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Alberta and his DSc at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. From 1986 to 1991, he worked as a research hydrologist for Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and served as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia before joining the staff of the Weizmann Institute in 1993. A former Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research (now the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences), he is the incumbent of the Sam Zuckerberg Professorial Chair in Hydrology.
Prof. Berkowitz’s research centers around the experimental analysis and computer modeling of fluid and chemical transport in geological formations, with particular emphasis on groundwater systems. He and his colleagues are developing new models that realistically describe pollutant migration patterns; these models demonstrate conditions under which groundwater contamination can occur. He is also developing a series of experimental methods for environmentally-friendly chemical treatment of contaminated water and industrial effluents.
Prizes and honors include the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Hydrogeology Division of the Geological Society of America (2015), the M. King Hubbert Award of the US National Ground Water Association (2012), the Oliver Lectureship in Hydrogeology at the University of Texas-Austin (2011), and the Michael Landau Achievement Prize (1997) in Israel. In 2008, he was named "Inventor of the Year" by Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2005) and of the Geological Society of America (2007). From 2005 to 2009, he served as Editor of Water Resources Research, the flagship scientific journal in the field. Since 2016, he serves as an Editor of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.
Prof. Berkowitz is married and the father of three. He is an accomplished musician, having played bassoon professionally in the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and in numerous chamber ensembles in Canada and Israel.