Eric M.V. Hoek, Ph.D.

Professor & Industrial Affiliates Program Director
Environmental Engineering

5731 Boelter Hall
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1593

Phone: (310) 825-2471
Fax: (310) 206-2222


Ph.D., Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University (2002)
M.S., Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University (1999)
M.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering, UCLA (1996)
B.S., Civil & Environmental Engineering Penn State University (1995)


Eric M.V. Hoek is a Professor in the UCLA Department Civil & Environmental Engineering. His UCLA research group explores the union of nanomaterials and membrane technologies for water, energy, biomedical and environmental applications. In the past decade, he has co-authored over a hundred scientific articles, book chapters, patents and proceedings papers, is a former Editor of the journal Desalination and recently co-edited The Encyclopedia of Membrane Science & Technology for John Wiley & Sons.Hoek also enjoys applying his basic research knowledge to practical applications having consulted for a range of private companies, law firms, US federal, state and local agencies, private research foundations, NGOs and foreign national research agencies. Dr. Hoek has served as an advisor on major water reuse and desalination projects in Southern California, and has been involved with the formation of several water technology startup companies including NanoH2O ( and Water Planet Engineering (

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2011 ASCE Walter L. Huber Award for Achievements in Civil Engineering Research
  • Outstanding Paper Award (Keynote Lecture), Materials Research Society Annual Meeting – Symposium V: Materials Science of Water Purification; November 23-26, 2007
  • “2007 Trendsetter” for pioneering nanocomposite membranes, Public Works Magazine, November 2007
  • Innovation of the Year (Distinction) for nanocomposite membanes, Global Water Awards 2007
  • North American Membrane Society Annual Meeting Outstanding Student Paper Award, 2003/2004/2005
  • CH2M Hill/AEESP Doctoral Dissertation Award, 2002
  • Certificate of Merit Award at the 220th ACS National Meeting, 2001
  • Euromembrane 2000 Conference Fellowship, 2000
  • NAMS International Travel Fellowship, 2000
  • ACS Environmental Chemistry Division Graduate Student Award, 1999
  • Chi Epsilon (CE) National Civil Engineering Honor Society, 1994

Research Interests and Activities

Our research interests arise from the push towards more sustainable approaches for managing the world’s critical water, energy, food, environmental, and human health needs. Many of these problems must be solved over the next generation.

Our approach is to use our fundamental knowledge of colloidal & interfacial phenomena wherever it applies. In particular, we have developed new fundamental insights on the roles of molecular and nano-scale heterogeneity (physical and chemical) on particle-particle and particle-surface interactions.

Using this knowledge we have studied a wide array of membrane materials & processes (MF/UF/NF/RO/FO/PRO/ED/RED/MD/MBR), electrochemical processes (electro-coagulation, -oxidation, -flotation) and advanced materials (polymers, nanoparticles, nanocomposites).

Some of the applications we have explored include conventional water & wastewater treatment, reverse osmosis desalination & wastewater reclamation, oil-water separations & produced water treatment, membrane transport, mass transfer & system level modeling, bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation and membrane fouling, kidney dialysis and protein separations, aerobic & anaerobic membrane bioreactors, and alternative energy solutions like anaerobic digester biogas and salinity-gradient power.