Ken Ives


Ken Ives

Distinguished Pioneer

Professional background

Kenneth James Ives (1926-2009) studied civil engineering at University College London (UCL) and then spent seven years with the Metropolitan Water Board in London.  There he formed the basis of his PhD.  In 1955 he returned to UCL as a lecturer, and became professor of health engineering in 1967 and Chadwick professor and head of department in 1984, retiring in 1992.

He began his research into the science underlying water filtration at UCL continued  with Gordon Fair at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1958-59.  Ives was among the pioneers of using  computers to model sand filter behaviour. . Later he used advanced fiber optic techniques and high-speed video recording to observe particle movements within the pores of a filter bed.  His experimental column designs were adapted for use in pilot- and labscale investigations in water treatment plants.

Ives organised a series of NATO Advanced Study Institutes in Cambridge between 1973 and 1982. These resulted in a book, The Scientific Basis of Filtration, which became known as ”The Gospel According to St Ives”. Ives was appointed CBE in 1996.

Major Contributions to IWA

Ken was engaged  within both IWSA and IAWPRC from the 1980’s into  his final professional years in IWA. Ken was Editor-in-Chief  1983–1995 for Water Research,  while concomitantly serving as UK Regional Editor through 2001.  Mogen Henze, succeeding as editor-in-chief, witnessed “that much of the reputation that WR has today is due to Ken’s work focusing on the quality of the papers published, both with respect to language and to scientific content.”  He will be remembered as one of the great scientists of water filtration. His regular presence in his final years at IWA HQ was a great inspiration to all.

Authors:  Paul D Reiter

Contributing Sources:  Mogens Henze, The Telegraph