Peter Webster Accepts International Creativity Prize for Water at United Nations

International dignitaries honor College of Sciences professor for his life-saving research into monsoon flooding

Peter Webster, a professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, has won the Creativity Prize of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW). Awarded every two years by a council of individuals representing the government of Saudi Arabia and international academic institutions, the Creativity Prize recognizes innovative approaches to solving the problems of global water scarcity and potable water availability.

Webster’s contribution to water science is informed by his understanding of ocean-atmosphere interactions, a research topic he has pursued for many years. Using data from sophisticated weather forecast models in the U.K., as well as river inundation models, Webster and his team developed analysis methods and algorithms to forecast major floods during monsoon seasons in Asia.

When the Georgia Tech researchers tested their forecasting method for the first time during the 2007-08 monsoon season, they correctly predicted three major floods in Bangladesh with at least one week of lead time. This meant that people living in affected areas had enough time to take measures to protect their lives, livelihood, crops, and livestock.

His work has resulted in thousands of lives and livelihoods saved. Webster’s research was recently featured in a Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine story, which describes in detail the development and implications of his award-winning work.

Webster accepted his award on Nov. 2, 2016, at an event in New York City hosted by the UN Group of Friends of Water. Presiding over the awards ceremony were UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and PSIPW Chairman Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz. 

To celebrate Webster's most recent recognition, the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences invites the Georgia Tech community to a reception at 3:30 pm on Dec. 7, 2016, at the atrium of the Ford Environmental Science and Technology Building. For more information about the reception, contact Hollie Meyer, 404.894.3955. 

 

Matt Barr

Science Communications Intern

College of Sciences

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  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (left) presents prize to Peter Webster (center) as PSIPW Chairman Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz looks on during award presentations in New York City on Nov. 2, 2016.

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A. Maureen Rouhi

Director of Communications

College of Sciences