Sedlak is the Plato Malozemoff Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley. He has been on the Berkeley faculty since 1994, and is a leading expert in water chemistry. He serves as co-director of the Berkeley Water Center, and director, Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering. Sedlak was elected to the NAE for his contributions to environmental aqueous chemistry, especially in the areas of water reuse, water contaminants, and urban water infrastructure.
Professor Sedlak's research focuses on the 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 and contaminated groundwater from industrial sites as water supplies.
Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
Individuals in the newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 9, 2016.