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Governor appoints energy professor emeritus Robert Sawyer to chair Air Resources Board

12 January 2006

In late December, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Robert Sawyer, Berkeley engineering professor emeritus, as chair of the state Air Resources Board (ARB).

"Dr. Sawyer is an exceptionally accomplished scientist, teacher, and environmental-policy expert who has devoted his career to using science and technology to improve air quality not only in California, but across our country and the world," said Schwarzenegger. "His expertise will be fundamental to ensuring the legacy of the Air Resources Board in creating a clean and healthy future for California continues."

Sawyer, a recipient of the Berkeley Citation, is the Class of 1935 Professor of Energy Emeritus; he has conducted extensive research and taught air-pollutant emissions and their control, energy conversion, combustion, fire safety, and rocket and jet propulsion since 1966. A member of the ARB International Diesel Retrofit Advisory Committee, he previously served as a member of the ARB from 1975 to 1976. He is also currently a member of the Coordinating Research Council Committee on Remote Sensing of Motor Vehicle Emissions and the National Research Council Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology.

As an active member of the scientific and academic communities and the author or co-author of more than 350 technical publications, Sawyer has served on the Distinguished Advisory Panel to the Air Quality Improvement Research Program and the National Research Council Committee on Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality. He is also past president and director of the Combustion Institute, a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, a member of the Air and Waste Management Association, past chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Advisory Council, and former chair of the Technology Panel of the National Academy of Sciences Committees on Motor Vehicle Emissions and Diesel Engine Technology.

Sawyer, 70, a Democrat from Oakland, earned a Ph.D. in aerospace science and a master of arts degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University. In addition, he holds a master of science degree and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $117,818.