May 28, 2009

NWRI Announces Winner of 2009 Clarke Prize

Bruce Logan, pioneer in energy generation from wastewater, will be honored with the prize for excellence in water research

The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) has announced that environmental biotechnologist Bruce E. Logan, Ph.D., will be the sixteenth recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. Logan was selected because of his innovative efforts to generate clean, renewable forms of energy during the treatment of wastewater.

NWRI established the Clarke Prize in 1993 to recognize outstanding research scientists who have demonstrated excellence in water-science research and technology. The prize, which includes a medallion and $50,000 award, is presented annually.

Logan is Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He also established and directs the Penn State Hydrogen Energy (H2E) Center, which is dedicated to developing and promoting the use of hydrogen for sustainable energy production.

Logan is best known for his groundbreaking work on microbial fuel cells, which are bioreactors that use natural bacteria to break down organic matter in wastewater, producing both electricity and treated effluent. His 2008 textbook, Microbial Fuel Cells, is one of the first books written on this technology. He is also currently working on a newly invented bioreactor, the microbial electrolysis cell, which breaks down organic matter to produce hydrogen as an energy source.

A prolific and internationally renowned researcher, Logan is actively involved in collaborations around the world to promote the development of energy-sustainable water infrastructure. Among these efforts, he is a visiting professor at both Harbin Institute of Technology in China and Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, focusing on renewable bioenergy production, and a collaborator with Tsinghua University in China, where he developing a new zero-electrical energy desalination technology. He is also a Global Research Partner with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, investigating novel technologies for energy production using wastewaters and agricultural waste.

For more information about Logan and his research, please visit his lab website at

Named in honor of NWRI’s co-founder, the late Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke, the Clarke Prize is awarded to outstanding research scientists who are currently active in the water and wastewater fields. It is one of only a dozen water prizes awarded worldwide and has been distinguished by the International Congress of Distinguished Awards as one of the most prestigious awards in the world.

The 2009 Clarke Prize will be presented to Logan on Thursday, July 9, 2009, at the Sixteenth Annual Clarke Prize Lecture and Award Ceremony, to be held at the Fairmont Newport Beach in Newport Beach, Calif. More information about the Clarke Prize can be found at