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Curriculum Vitae


Dept. of Civil & Environmental Eng.; Dept. of Chemistry¨ Rice University
Director, Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT)
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Tel: (713) 348-5903 ♦ FAX: (713) 348-5203
E-mail: alvarez@rice.edu

Selected Publications
Conference Proceedings and Other Technical Publications
Conferences and Sessions Chaired
Environmental Impact Studies
Invited Lectures


Prof. Alvarez’s research focuses on environmental sustainability through bioremediation of contaminated aquifers, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, microbial-plant interactions, water treatment and reuse, and environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology.


B.Eng. 1982 Civil Engineering McGill University, Montréal

Certif. 1988 Haz. Waste Mgmt. U. of California, Riverside

M.S.E 1989 Environmental Engrg. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Ph.D. 1992 Environmental Engrg. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


2015-present Directory, NEWT ERC Rice University, Houston, TX

2004-present G.R. Brown Professor Rice University, Houston, TX

2004-2015 CEE Dept. Chair Rice University, Houston, TX

2001-2003 Professor The University of Iowa, Iowa City

1999 Visiting Professor EAWAG, Switzerland

1998-2003 Associate Director Center for Biocatalysis & Bioprocessing

1997-2001 Associate Professor The University of Iowa, Iowa City

1993-1997 Assistant Professor The University of Iowa, Iowa City

1985-1988 Environ. Engineer Tetratech Inc., San Bernardino, CA


2007-Present Associate Editor, Environmental Science and Technology

2005-2006 Associate Editor, ASCE J. Environ. Engrg.

2003-2006 Field Editor, European Journal of Soil Biology

2002-present Editorial Board, Biodegradation

1998-2002 Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Science and Health

1996-2002 Editorial Advisory Board, Advances in Environmental Research

Selected Activities

  • Registered Professional Engineer, Michigan License # 35419, Iowa License # 12575, Texas License # 95255; Registered Groundwater Professional, Iowa # 1681
  • Conference chair, Leading Edge Technologies, International Water Association (IWA), 7/11 (Amsterdam) and 7/10 (Phoenix).
  • Delegate to COP15 (Global Climate Forum in Copenhagen), 12/09
  • Member, CLEANER Committee, National Research Council (NRC)
  • Member, Academic Relations Committee, Water Environment Federation (WEF)
  • Member, Publications Committee, American Academy of Environ. Engineers (AAEE)
  • Member, Hazard Assessment and Control of Toxic Substances in Water Committee, also Nanomaterials in the Environment Committee; IWA, 7/00-present.
  • Panel member, NCEES Environmental Engrg. minimum competency requirements, 11/04.
  • International Expert Committee for the Mexican Institute of Petroleum for the evaluation of projects of the Biotechnology Program on Petroleum, 2/00-2/04.
  • AWWARF Project Advisory Committee, 1998, 2010
  • Advisor to the State of Iowa, Brownfields Committee,1997, and Underground Storage Tank Interim Study Committee, 1993, 1995.
  • Consultant, Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roseau, 1991(Assisted in formulation of environmental policies for economic growth)
  • Consultant, The City of Ann Arbor, MI, 1991(Designed and implemented a landfill groundwater monitoring plan)

Selected Honors and Awards

2016-2019 Advisory Board, Directorate for Engineering of the National Science Foundation

2015 Best paper award, ES&T Letters, (1), 26−30, 2014.

2015 Thompson Reuter’s Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% in Chemistry and in Environment Ecology)

2014 AAEES Grand Prize, Excellence in Env. Eng. And Science University Research Award

2014 Plenary lecture, 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Francisco

2014 Thompson Reuter’s Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% in Environment/Ecology)

2014 Honorary Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

2014 Most downloaded paper in Water Research (Wat. Res. 47, (12), 3931–3946).

2013 Most cited paper in Water Research in the last 5 years (Wat. Res. 44:2894-2900)

2012 Fellow, American Academy for the Advancement of Science

2012 The Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for Outstanding Research in Water Sci. & Technol.

2012 South Texas Section AlChE’s Best Fundamental Paper Award

2011-2014 Science Advisory Board to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

2011 Dean of Engineering’s Lecture, Columbia University

2010 Most cited paper in the past 5 year, Water Research (Wat. Res. 40(19):3527-3532

2010 Top-10 most read paper, ACS nano (ACS Nano, 2010, 4 (7), pp 3580–3590).

2010 Honorary Professor, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, China

2009 Professor of the Year, ASCE & Chi Epsilon Student Chapters, Rice University

2009 Delegate, National Academies to US-Iran Engagement in Science, Engrg. And Health

2008 Frontier in Research Award, Assoc. of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors

2008 Founding Member, Nicaraguan National Academy of Sciences

2008 John Henske Distinguished Lecture, Yale University

2007 McKee Medal for Groundwater Protection, Restoration or Sustainable Use (WEF)

2006 Board of Directors, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

2006 Honorary Professor, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

2005-2006 President, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors

2003-2006 Board of Directors, Nicaragua’s Water Management Agency (ENACAL)

2003 Consul of Nicaragua for Iowa (ad honorem)

2002 Research project of the year award, SERDP cleanup division, Department of Defense.

2002 Editorial Board Member of Bioremediation and Bioavailability, The Scientific World

2000 Awarded the Button of the City of Valencia, Venezuela, by the Mayor of the City

1998 The UI Collegiate Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Iowa

1997 Participant, National Academy of Engineering’s Symposium: Frontiers of Engrg.

1997 Listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering

1997 Appointed Adjunct Professor, Universidad Autónoma de México, Mexico, D.F.

1996 Honored Member, Strathmore’s Who’s Who Register of Business Leaders

1996 Listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and Who’s Who in Environ. Engrg.

1996 Awarded the Alejo Zuloaga Medal by the Universidad de Carabobo, Venezuela

1995 Inducted into the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Diplomate Status

1995 Career Award, National Science Foundation.

1995 Best Paper Award, EPA Hazardous Substance Research Center for Regions 7 and 8

1995 Appointed Adjunct Professor, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brasil

1994, 2002 Elected to The University of Iowa Faculty Senate

1992 Outstanding Presentation Award, AIChE Summer Meeting, Minneapolis, MN

1992  The Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

1991 The Outstanding Achievement Award in Environmental Engineering, U. of Michigan

Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE, 2005), American Leadership Forum (ALF, 2008), Leopold Leadership Foundation (LLF, 2008), Water Environment Federation (WEF, 2011), and International Water Association (IWA, 2011)

Best student papers: Battelle 6th Bioremediation Symposium, San Diego, 2000 (Todd Dejournett); WEF 70th Annual Meeting, Chicago (Eric Aitchison), 1997; EPA HSRC for regions 7&8, Kansas City, 1993 (Brad Helland)

Other student awards:  ACS Environmental Chemistry Graduate Student Award, 2011 (Li Dong); best poster at IWA Leading Edge Technologies, Zurich, 2008 (Katherine Zodrow); best dissertation from Brown School of Engineering, 2007 (Del Lyon); best poster at EPA International Applied Phytotechnologies Conference, Chicago, 2003 (Roopa Kamath)


AAEE, ACS, AEESP, ASCE, ASM, IWA, Leopold LF, SEPM, SHPE, WEF, Chi Epsilon, and Tau Beta Pi.

Courses Taught

Environmental Biotechnology

Environmental Molecular Biology

Design & Management of Civil Eng. Projects

Foundations of Bioremediation

Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Principles of Environmental Engineering

International Perspectives in Water Resources Planning

Engineering I

Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development

Experiments in Environmental Eng.

International Perspectives in Climate Change: COP15