Elected in 2003
“For contributions to the theory and practice of water-treatment technology throughout the world.”
BY JOHN GREGORY
SUBMITTED BY THE NAE HOME SECRETARY
KEN IVES, who died suddenly at age 82, on September 8, 2009, was an internationally recognized authority in the field of drinking water treatment. His research has had an enormous influence on the principles and practice of water filtration and gave him an unrivaled reputation in the subject. Ken was elected as a foreign associate of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003.
Ken was born in 1926 in Kentish Town, London, and was educated at William Ellis School. During World War II, he was evacuated to Leighton Buzzard, a town about 40 miles northwest of London, which was relatively safe from bombing raids. Coincidentally, Leighton Buzzard is well known for its sand quarries, which are an important source of sand for filters in water treatment plants. In 1945 Ken entered University College London (UCL) to study civil engineering. He maintained an association with UCL for the rest of his life. After graduating with a B.Sc. in engineering in 1948, he spent seven years as an engineer with the Metropolitan Water Board (MWB) in London. At MWB he carried out research on the removal of algae from reservoir water, and this work formed the basis of his Ph.D. degree, which was supervised at UCL. Several publications on his algal research appeared, and these have had a high impact on later studies in this area. These early papers are still being quoted by scientists around the world.