UCLA Engineering 2023 Award Recipients
Profile of the University Service Award Recipient
very year, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering selects and recognizes outstanding achievements by a number of its alumni, faculty members and students who have excelled in various fields. Below is a profile of the University Service Award recipient.
University Service Award
Eric Hoek M.S. ’96
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
With decades of leadership in developing advanced water, energy and environmental technologies, civil and environmental engineering professor Eric Hoek was a natural choice to lead UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge as its faculty director, an appointment he held from December 2019 to March 2023.
Launched in 2013, the university-wide initiative recruited more than 250 faculty members across diverse disciplines, with the aim of leveraging the collective knowledge, expertise and resources to help transform Los Angeles into the world’s most sustainable megacity by 2050. Hoek was instrumental in the initiative’s emphasis on inclusion and community engagement, including the establishment of its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellows Program. He also helped secure an important partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to find equitable solutions to reach 100% renewable energy in LA.
“Hoek has led a truly transformational overhaul of this signature initiative, expanding its scope to include transportation, while clearly defining the importance of cross-cutting themes inherent within urban sustainability problems such as equity, access and justice,” said Roger Wakimoto, UCLA’s vice chancellor for research and creative activities in a March university announcement on the initiative’s leadership transition.
Aside from his campus leadership, Hoek is a prominent researcher with a focus on combining nanotechnology, membrane science and electrolysis for water, energy and environmental applications. In 2022, the National Water Research Institute selected Hoek as its 2022 Athalie Richardson Irvine Clark Prize laureate — one of the highest honors in water research, science, technology or policy in the United States.
Hoek joined the UCLA Samueli faculty in 2004 and has advised more than 50 graduate students, published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and filed for more than 70 patents globally. He is a member of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, as well as a faculty scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. A co-founder of 11 technology companies, Hoek has authored two books on water management. He is co-editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of Membrane Science and Technology and the founding editor-in-chief of npj Clean Water. Hoek received both his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical and environmental engineering from Yale University in Connecticut. He also holds a master’s degree from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University — both in civil and environmental engineering.