Menachem Elimelech Elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering

Cited for his “distinguished contributions to Environmental Engineering and to the promotion of China-USA exchanges and cooperation in engineering sciences and technology,” Prof. Menachem Elimelech has been elected to the prestigious Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).

Elimelech, the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, is only 1 of 18 foreign members elected to the CAE this year, and one of two in the category of environmental engineering. The group of foreign members elected this year also includes Bill Gates and Nobel laureates James Fraser Stoddart and Andre Geim.

In addition to Elimelech being a highly cited researcher, the academy also likely took into consideration his work on membrane technologies for water and wastewater treatment, both of which are major issues of concern in China. He has also collaborated with many Chinese researchers and consulted with several companies in the country. Additionally, he has six visiting researchers from China working in his lab.

“They want to see that you are invested with China and that you will continue to be involved with helping China,” Elimelech said. “They take it very seriously with these foreign members, because they really want to enhance the exchanges all over the world.”

The induction ceremony will be held in June next year at the 2018 CAE Annual meeting in Beijing, and will be attended by China’s president, Xi Jinping. With his election to the academy, Elimelech will receive a diplomat card, affording him VIP privileges in China.

Besides the U.S., the new foreign members of the CAE come from the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and Australia. To be elected as a foreign member to the CAE, engineers must already be members of the national academy of engineers in their own country. In 2006, Elimelech was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional honors accorded an engineer.

His election to the CAE is just the most recent of numerous major awards in recognition of his pioneering research. Other notable examples include the Eni Award for Protection of the Environment in 2015 - often considered the Nobel Prize for Energy/Environment; and the Clarke Prize for excellence in water research in 2005. Elimelech is also a Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) Highly Cited Researcher (top 1%) in Chemistry and Environment/Ecology.

Elimelech is also an effective and inspiring mentor. He has advised 36 Ph.D. students and over 30 postdoctoral researchers, many of whom hold leading positions in academia and industry. In recognition of his excellence in mentoring, he received the Yale University Graduate Mentoring Award in 2004 and Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize in 2012.