We are pleased to announce the appointment of Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor Eric Hoek as the new Faculty Director of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, the UCLA-wide initiative to make Los Angeles the first sustainable megacity by 2050.
In his work as an academic and entrepreneur, Eric has a track record of developing and realizing new innovations with an ever-greater impact on the world. This perspective will be invaluable as UCLA continues to define and pursue ambitious sustainability goals for the Los Angeles region along with its partners.
Eric is one of the original faculty founders of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a professor in UCLA’s department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Eric joined the faculty of UCLA in 2004 and took leave in 2014 to serve as CEO of Water Planet, an award-winning water technology company established around his innovative technologies that led to the creation of three spinoff companies. In 2018, he returned to UCLA full time to resume his role as an engineering professor.
As the thought leader of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, Eric will provide vision and leadership for the initiative; grow partnerships with faculty, researchers, students, and staff across campus; and engage external stakeholders from government, academic, business, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors.
To kick off Eric’s appointment, the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge will host a forum in the first part of 2020 for the UCLA community to celebrate UCLA research that has impacted sustainability in the region, and to invite input into the next phase of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. We envision a broadened scope for the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge that will help Los Angeles transform into a cleaner, greener, smarter, more resilient, more equitable, and more livable megacity and a leading exemplar of the sustainable city of the future.
Through the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, UCLA has an opportunity to apply our world-class research and expertise to solve some of our region’s most intractable sustainability problems and to create the city of the future right here in our own backyard. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Eric in this new role.

UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering

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