ASCE has honored Avi Ostfeld, Ph.D., D.WRE, F.EWRI, F.ASCE, with the 2020 Julian Hinds Award for exceptional leadership and distinguished research advancing the design, operation and management of water distribution systems, particularly network reliability, network security, water quality and optimization methodologies, as well as contributions to surface water modeling and water resources management.
Ostfeld’s research in water systems has contributed advanced solution techniques based on optimization, evolutionary algorithms, geographical information systems, graph theory and machine learning methods. His list of publications is influential and varied, comprising over 150 journal articles, book chapters, case reports, research reports, commissioned briefings and editorials.
The most influential impact of his work is in the area of water distribution systems analysis and security. His research addresses multiple facets of energy management, including risk assessment, mitigation and response for water distribution security. His research group contributed significantly to the development of methodologies for optimally placing water quality sensors in pipe networks and detecting anomalies in water quality data. Ostfeld has pioneered advances in the use of new technologies for water distribution systems security, including the use of mobile sensors, and has been a leader in addressing cybernetic threats that are emerging with smart water networks. He collaborates with academic institutions, government agencies and industrial partners.
His research funded by the Unites States Binational Science Foundation (US-BSF), Israel Science Foundation (ISF), Mekorot Israel National Water Company, the Technion Grand Water Research Institute, the Israeli Water Authority, and NATO Science for Peace. Over the past 21 years, Ostfeld advised over 30 graduate students, working on various research topics, who currently hold influential positions as consultant engineers, government officials, and professors in top Israel and U.S. academic institutions. Ostfeld has served in many roles on EWRI and ASCE professional committees as well as in the US-BSF, the IEEE, the International Water Association, and several Israeli government agencies, among them the Standards Institute of Israel and industrial committees.
Since October 2017 he is the chair of the EWRI-ASCE Planning and Management Council. In addition, he has served in editorial roles on a number of scholarly journals, including the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.
The Julian Hinds Award is given to recognize the author or authors of that paper which is judged to make the most meritorious contribution to the field of water resources development. The award may also be made to an individual for notable performance, long years of distinguished service or specific actions that advanced engineering in the field of planning, development and management of water resources.