Mar 23, 2007

Stanford Professor Wins 2007 Stockholm Water Prize

Professor Perry L. McCarty, from Stanford University, Calif., has been named the 2007 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

McCarty's work has led to more efficient biological treatment processes, in particular anaerobic (oxygen-less) treatment systems for municipal and industrial wastewaters, biological nutrient removal, and the development and use of biofilm reactors. The Prize Nominating Committee wrote: “Professor Perry L. McCarty is awarded the 2007 Stockholm Water Prize for pioneering work in developing the scientific approach for the design and operation of water and wastewater systems. He has established the role of fundamental microbiology and chemistry in the design of bioreactors. Professor McCarty has defined the field of environmental biotechnology that is the basis for small-scale and large-scale pollution control and safe drinking water systems.”

Since 1990 the Stockholm Water Prize has been presented annually to an individual, organization or institution for outstanding water-related activities in water-related awareness-raising, human and international relations, research, management and aid. The Laureate receives USD 150,000 and a glass sculpture, to be presented in August in Stockholm. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is the Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize.

McCarty, 76, has combined deep knowledge in physical, chemical, biological and microbiological processes and transferred the results into outstanding technical development widely used all over the world as the basis for design and operation of wastewater treatment systems. By tackling the important problem of organic compounds and pollutants in wastewater and underground aquifer systems, his work has led to the development and practical implementation of methods to treat toxic chemicals in groundwater, especially chlorinated pollutants from industry.

McCarty's textbooks on the chemistry, biology, and design of treatment systems for municipal and industrial wastewater are used daily all over the world. He has been an educator and researcher at Stanford since 1962. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an Honorary member of the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology.