Ashok Gadgil

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Ashok Gadgil (born 1950 in India) Is Director of the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and design for development. He also has substantial experience in technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation - particularly in developing countries. He is best known for his work with two developing-world technologies: "UV Waterworks" (a simple and effective and inexpensive water disinfection system), and the Berkeley-Darfur Stove (a low-cost stove to that saves fuelwood in internally displaced person's camps in Darfur).


Dr. Gadgil holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.Sc. in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.


At LBNL Dr. Gadgil is Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, with a staff of approximately 550. Earlier, he led a group of about 20 researchers conducting experimental and modeling research in indoor airflow and pollutant transport. Most of that work was focused on protecting building occupants from the threat of chemical and biological attacks. In recent years, he has worked on ways to inexpensively remove arsenic from Bangladesh drinking water, and on improving cookstoves for Darfur (Sudan) refugees.

Concurrently, Dr. Gadgil is Professor of Environmental Engineering at University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Gadgil has substantial experience in technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation - particularly in developing countries. He has authored or co-authored more than 90 journal papers, and more than 100 conference papers.

In 1998 and again in 2006, Dr. Gadgil was invited by the Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation to speak at the National Museum of American History about his life and work.

Awards (Selected List)[edit]

UV Waterworks[edit]

UV Waterworks uses the UV light emitted by a low-pressure mercury discharge (similar to that in a fluorescent lamp) to disinfect drinking water. Effective disinfection at affordable cost is the primary and most important feature of UV Waterworks—allowing an entire system (including costs of pumps, filters, tanks, armpits, consumables, and employee salaries for operation) to sell drinking water at about 2 cents US for 12 liters even in deep rural areas, where personal incomes are commonly less than $1 US per day.

This business model, developed and implemented by WaterHealth International [3], makes safe drinking water affordable and accessible to even poor communities in developing countries. For UV Waterworks, Dr. Gadgil received the Discover Award in 1996 for the most significant environmental invention of the year, as well as the Popular Science Award for "Best of What is New - 1996".

Darfur Stoves Project[edit]

The Darfur Stoves Project seeks to protect Darfuri women by providing them with specially developed stoves which require less firewood, hence decreasing women’s exposure to violence while collecting firewood and their need to trade food rations for fuel. Dr. Gadgil is a co-Founder and serves as Chair of this non-profit organization.

The Darfur Stoves Project collaborates with international organizations such as Oxfam America and the Sudanese organization, Sustainable Action Group (SAG). Till early-2014 the Darfur Stoves Project has produced and distributed more than 35,000 stoves in the post-conflict region of Darfur, Sudan.

The Darfur Stoves Project is the first initiative of the nonprofit organization, Potential Energy. Potential Energy envisions a world where technology improves the lives of everyone equitably. Potential Energy's mission is to adapt and scale technologies that improve lives in developing countries.


Ashok is featured in Irena Salina's feature documentary Flow: For Love of Water (2008) and Michael Apted's award winning 1999 documentary "Me and Isaac Newton".


As of April 2014, this article is derived in whole or in part from the subject's official CV. The copyright holder has licensed the content utilized under CC-By-SA and GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.

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