Michael Hoffman


Dr. Michael R. Hoffmann, Ph.D., the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science at Caltech, is an important designer of effective, inexpensive and sustainable products for the developing world and an internationally renowned scientist.
Professor Hoffman and his team won the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation’s Reinventing Toilet Challenge in August 2012. They received a $100,000 award for their design. The toilet will help to solve a major health problem in developing countries. Designed for use by up to 500 people per day with minimal maintenance, the sanitation unit will have the added benefit of turning waste into fuel. Previously, Professor Hoffman had received a $400,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a solar toilet for the competition.
Professor Hoffman was the organizing chair of the International Conference on the Photochemical Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy, which was held at Caltech in July 2012. He has been recognized by the Web of Science as one of the most highly cited researchers in engineering in the world. He was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize in 1991 for his reach and teaching in environmental chemistry and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology in 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Selected Awards:
Winner, Reinventing Toilet Challenge
Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, 2012

Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology
American Chemical Society, 2001

Alexander von Humboldt Prize, 1991


Michael Hoffman