Winner of 2011 European Inventor Award, Ashok Gadgil to speak at CEU

May 20, 2011 - 15:30 - 16:30
Nador u. 9, Faculty Tower
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Open to the Public
Ashok Gadgil
Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP)
Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy

The European Patent Office (EPO), in cooperation with the Hungarian EU Council Presidency and the European Commission, awarded Europe's most prestigious innovation prize in five categories at a ceremony at the Academy of Sciences in Budapest. Ashok Gadgil and Vikas Garud of the University of California/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, were presented the 2011 European Inventor Award, for non-European countries.

The prize stems from the development of a water purification system that uses gravity and a carefully planned hydraulics design to ensure even water flow, their UV disinfection device requires only a 40 watt UV light bulb to disinfect 1 000 litres of water per hour. The water purification device has been installed in more than ten countries worldwide, delivering clean water to over two million people.

The Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, invite you to a public lecture by

Professor Ashok Gadgil from the University of California, Berkeley

and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Stoves for the Poorest in the Developing Countries

Date: Friday, May 20th,

Time: 15:30 - 16:30

Venue: Faculty Tower 609, CEU, Nador utca 9

Chair: Professor Laszlo Pinter - Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy


The poorest 2 billion people in the world cook their daily meals with biomass, using generally inefficient and grossly polluting stoves. This adversely impacts their health, the local environment and also the global environment. So, after a gap of almost 30 years, efforts are being renewed to develop better stoves for this population. This talk will summarize the background and specifically describe a project led by the speaker to design, build, test, mass-produce, and distribute improved stoves for the women in refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan.

Ashok Gadgil is the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Distinguished Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Concurrently, Dr. Gadgil is Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dr. Gadgil conducts research in the Indoor Environment Department in EETD. During the 1990s he led the modeling and simulation research on topics related to entry of radon into homes. In parallel with his research in the indoor environment, Dr. Gadgil has a long record of innovative solutions to problems in the developing world. He has pioneered the way to accelerate access to compact fluorescent lamps for poor households in developing countries; invented and commercialized a method to affordably disinfect drinking water for poor communities; designed, tested, and then found a way to build, field-test, and disseminate thousands of fuel-efficient stoves to refugee women in Darfur; and invented and is currently field-testing an extremely low cost, robust, and technically reliable method to remove arsenic from drinking water in Bangladesh and nearby regions.

Dr. Gadgil is recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 1991 he was named a Pew Fellow in Conservation and the Environment for his work on energy efficiency. In 1996 he received the Discover Award for the most significant environmental invention of the year, and also the Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award, both for his water disinfector. In 2002, he won the World Technology Award for Energy. In 2001 he was one of the 35 top American inventors featured in the book “Inventing Modern America”, published by MIT Press. In 2004, he was won the “Tech Laureate” award from the San Jose Museum of Science and Technology, and in 2006 the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry named him as one of the exemplars of the “Spirit of Leonardo da Vinci in modern America.” In 2007 he received the “Breakthrough Award” from Popular Mechanics. In 2009 he won the prestigious Heinz Award, which cites him for research, innovation, and humanism. In 2010 he was awarded the “Sustainability Pioneer Award” by the Zurich-based Sustainability Asset Management Group.