(WESTERVILLE, OH — September 27, 2012) Professor Brian Berkowitz of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, has received the 2012 M. King Hubbert Award for major science contributions to the knowledge of groundwater.
The award will be presented in December at the NGWA 2012 Groundwater Expo and Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Berkowitz is head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Energy Research at the Institute.
His nominator, mentor, and NGWA’s 1990 Hubbert Award winner, Technion Professor Emeritus Jacob Bear, said Berkowitz “is a highly respected scientist who has provided pioneering contributions in several key fields of subsurface hydrology.
“I have seen Brian develop into an indisputably first-class research scientist. His research has had key impacts in the field of subsurface hydrology, in terms of conceptual understanding — based on theory and experiment — and mathematical description of fluid flow and chemical transport processes, especially in heterogeneous geological media,” wrote Bear in his nomination letter.
“Brian’s broad international reputation is evidenced by his election as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the Geological Society of America, by his appointment as editor of Water Resources Research, and by his many invited talks and collaborations throughout Europe and North America,” said Bear.
Other Hubbert Award winners joining Bear in nominating Berkowitz are Edward A. Sudicky, Ph.D., 2007; Donald Nielsen, Ph.D., 1994; and Leonard Konikow, Ph.D., 1989.
Berkowitz began in the groundwater field with his doctoral studies in hydrology in the mid-1980s at the Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
“In his research, Brian has repeatedly succeeded in synthesizing ‘classical hydrology,’ applied mathematics, statistical physics, and practical experience to solve open questions — both theoretical and applied — that have been at the forefront of groundwater hydrology,” Bear wrote.
Bear noted a crowning achievement in Berkowitz’s career is the development of a theory “which, for the first time, captures convincingly and repeatedly — both qualitatively and quantitatively — non-Fickian transport patterns in fractured and heterogeneous porous media, observed in laboratory and field experiments and in numerical simulations.”
With regard to this theory, “Brian’s introduction and adaptation of the Continuous Time Random Walk theory to hydrology...which recognizes temporal aspects of transport induced by special heterogeneity even at very small scales, can be considered to represent a dramatic change in paradigm,” wrote Bear.
NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals — contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers — is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management, and use of water.
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