In Memoriam: Julius Glater

Jul 10, 2012

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Julius Glater, a UCLA adjunct emeritus professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering who was instrumental in developing water desalination technologies, died of age-related causes on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. He was 91.

Glater, often called “Bud,” was born December 19th, 1920 in Hartford, Conn. to Lena and Samuel Glater. He served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII in the South Pacific as an air traffic controller and a certified meteorologist.  He was also stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area. After the war, Glater completed formal education at the University of Connecticut and at UCLA.

Glater began his career in Los Angeles at the air pollution control district in the early 1950s. Soon after, he was appointed professor of chemistry at L.A. Valley College and later at UCLA, as an adjunct professor in the School of Engineering. He was involved in research and teaching in both the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering departments.
Glater was a dedicated UCLA faculty member with immense loyalty to his students.

He was a true gentleman and kind beyond belief.  Students adored him and confided in him; often seeking his counsel on all matters.  He was deeply interested in people; especially those interested in learning.

Glater continued involvement at UCLA, long after his emeritus status in 1991 as his passion never retired. He mentored students, worked on grant projects and maintained contact with professionals in the area of water desalination until his illness progressed in 2010.

Glater was the shepherd of water desalination at UCLA since the early 1960s and helped strengthen and rejuvenate the desalination area at UCLA. He is known as one of the pioneers in reverse osmosis (RO) membrane desalination. He contributed greatly to the understanding of membrane desalination processes, membrane interaction with water treatment chemical and disinfectants, scaling and fouling mitigation, concentrate management and process optimization.

Glater was a founder of the UCLA Water Technology Research Center and was responsible for the establishment of numerous collaborative UCLA ties with local water technology companies and water agencies.

Glater was an avid sailor who loved to take his friends, family and students on excursions on his sailboat. He also loved woodworking and built pine furniture; always with gifts for loved ones in mind.  He had a gentle yet convicted demeanor and an infectious laugh that put folks at ease.  He was a specialist in his field and a very special person; though he tended to understate his excellence.

In 2009 Glater received the Hall of Fame Award from the American Membrane Technology Association for his lifelong contributions to membrane desalination.  This was an honor, a surprise and the culminating event of his professional life.

Julius Glater is survived by his wife Jacquelyn of Menlo Park, Calif. and two daughters Sara Glater, of Eugene, Ore. and Selina Glater, of Monterey, Calif.

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