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Ashok Gadgil (born November 15, 1950 in India) Is Faculty Senior Scientist and was Director of the Energy and Environmental Technologies Division for 2010-2015 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is also Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in heat transfer, fluid dynamics, and technology design for development. He also has substantial experience in technical, economic, and policy research on energy efficiency and its implementation - particularly in developing countries. Two of his best-known technologies for the developing-world are "UV Waterworks" (a simple, effective, and inexpensive water disinfection system), and the Berkeley-Darfur Stove (a low-cost stove that saves fuelwood in internally displaced person's camps in Darfur). In early 1990s, he analyzed the potential for large utility-sponsored projects to promote energy efficient electric lighting in poor households in developing countries, then teamed up with others to design and demonstrate such projects. These have become commonplace in dozens of developing countries since 2000 onward, saving billions of dollars annually to their economies.
At LBNL Dr. Gadgil is Faculty Senior Scientist, and former Director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division. 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 reducing indoor radon concentrations in individual houses, and protecting office-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 clean-burning biomass stoves, including design and dissemination of improved 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 110 journal papers, and more than 120 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)
- Curry Stone Design Prize. Inducted in the "Social Design Honoree Circle" 2017 cohort of honorees of the Curry Stone Foundation, for design under resource scarcity.
- R&D100 Award for invention of a novel, inexpensive, and robust technology for Fluoride-remediation of groundwater. The R&D100 Awards, called the “Oscars of Industrial Innovation”, are an international annual competition and celebrate the 100 top technology advances of the past year (2016).
- Leo Szilard Lectureship Award of the American Physical Society for "outstanding accomplishments in promoting the use of physics for the benefit of society" (2015)
- Elected as Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) (2015)
- Inducted in National Inventors Hall of Fame (2014)
- Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water—Creativity category—team award (2013)
- Inducted in the US National Academy of Engineering (2013)
- Winner of The Tech Awards in Economic Development category, team award for the Berkeley-Darfur Stove (2013)
- Alumni Leadership Award by the IIT Kanpur Alumni Association of Silicon Valley (2013)
- Lemelson-MIT Prize Award for Global Innovation (2012)
- Zayed Future Energy Prize Individual category (2012)
- European Inventor Award with Vikas Garud awarded by the European Patent Office awarded by the European Patent Office (2011)
- The 15th Annual Heinz Award with special focus on the environment (2009)
- Breakthrough Award by Popular Mechanics—for Berkeley-Darfur Stove (2007)
- Winner of The Tech Awards in Health category, Laureate for UVWaterworks (2004)
- Popular Science—best of what is new (1996)
- Discover Award for UVWaterworks, (1996)
- Pew Fellowship in Conservation and the Environment (1991)
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 , 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
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 served as Chair of this non-profit organization till 2015.
The Darfur Stoves Project collaborates with international organizations such as Oxfam America and the Sudanese organization, Sustainable Action Group (SAG). By end-2014 this non-profit had produced and distributed more than 40,000 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.
- "Curry Stone Design Prize, Ashok Gadgil profile". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "2016 Award Winners & Finalists". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Ashok Gadgil Inducted Into the Inventors Hall of Fame". 5 March 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Invention: UV water disinfection device Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "The 15th Heinz Awards, Ashok Gadgil profile". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Ashok J. Gadgil, Ph.D." The Pew Charitable Trusts. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- "Me and Isaac Newton". IMDb. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
- Gadgil's Research Lab website
- Personal Website
- Courage: Ashok Gadgil. Short biography from MIT Press. Text adapted from Inventing Modern America.
- Prototype Online: Inventive Voices podcast featuring a two-part interview with Ashok Gadgil - From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation website.
- Potential Energy Website
- Ashok Gadgil European Inventor Award Winner