David L. Sedlak

Vice Chair for Graduate Studies
Plato Malozemoff Professor
Director of the Berkeley Water Center
Environmental Engineering

For information on Professor Sedlak's research please visit the Sedlak Group website

Office 657 Davis Hall
Email sedlak@ce.berkeley.edu
Phone (510) 643-0256
Fax (510) 642-7483

Office Hours:

  • Friday 3-4 PM
  • by appointment


For additional detail, please visit the Sedlak Research Group Website: http://sedlakgroup.berkeley.edu

Professor Sedlak's research focuses on fate of chemical contaminants, with the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable systems to manage water resources. He is particularly interested in the development of local sources of water. His research has addressed water reuse--the practice of using municipal wastewater effluent to sustain aquatic ecosystems and augment drinking water supplies--as well as the treatment and use of urban runoff to contaminated groundwater form contaminated industrial sites as water supplies.

In recent years, his research on the fate of wastewater-derived contaminants has received considerable attention. He began this research in 1996 when he developed simple methods for measuring steroid hormones in wastewater. Since that time, he and his students have studied the fate of hormones, pharmaceuticals, toxic disinfection byproducts and other chemicals. His research team has also studied approaches for remediating contaminated soil and groundwater by in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and advanced oxidation processes.

Currently, his research group focuses on topics including:
-The use of engineered treatment wetlands to remove chemical from effluent-impacted waters;
-Treatment and management of concentrate from water reuse and desalination processes;
-The fate, transport and transformation of poly- and per-fluorinated substances (PFAS);
-Development of passive systems for treatment of chemicals in urban runoff.

In addition to his laboratory and field research, Sedlak is interested in the developing new approaches for managing the urban water cycle. He pursues these efforts through research coordinated through the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Insfrastructure (ReNUWIt), the Berkeley Water Center and the National Alliance for Water Innovation. He also is the author of "Water 4.0", a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems.


Talks, Media Coverage, etc.








Ph.D. - Water Chemistry, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1992
B.S. - Environmental Science, Cornell University, 1986