Shaily Mahendra, UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor and Samueli Fellow, receives the 2019 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from American Society of Civil Engineers. She is recognized for pioneering the application of enzyme-nanoparticle vaults in water treatment, significantly contributing to application of molecular biological and stable isotopic diagnostic tools in bioremediation of organic contaminants, and advancing our understanding of the impact of nanomaterials on microbial ecosystems.
Shaily Mahendra earned her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley and post-doctoral fellowship from Rice University. The overarching goals of her research are to understand and control microbial communities and functions in natural and engineered systems. Shaily also develops novel environmental applications of nanomaterials, omics-based and stable isotope- based monitoring tools, and technologies for biotransformation of water contaminants resulting from industrial, military, agricultural, and energy production activities. She has received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Paul L. Busch Award, the DuPont Young Professor Award, the Samueli Fellowship, the Hellman Fellowship, the PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellowship, the Environmental Science & Technology Excellence in Review Award, the Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor Award, and the Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award.
Her selection brings makes her the 8th ASCE Huber prize winner in UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering, which has among the highest percentages of winners among CEE departments in the country.