UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

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

– Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday (Dec. 22) announced the appointment of Robert Sawyer, engineering professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, as chair of the state Air Resources Board (ARB).

Robert Sawyer
Robert Sawyer

"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 in tackling tough pollution control issues will be fundamental to ensuring the legacy of the Air Resources Board in creating a clean and healthy future for California continues."

Sawyer is the Class of 1935 Professor of Energy Emeritus at UC Berkeley, where 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. In addition, he serves as visiting professor of energy and environment at University College London and as a partner of Sawyer Associates, an air pollution reduction consulting company. Sawyer is a member of the ARB International Diesel Retrofit Advisory Committee and 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, Sawyer has served on the Distinguished Advisory Panel to the Air Quality Improvement Research Program, the National Research Council Committee on Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality and as an advisor to the World Bank on Mexico City air pollution projects. 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 has authored or co-authored more than 350 technical publications and has earned the Berkeley Citation and the Soichiro Honda Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

"I am honored Governor Schwarzenegger has asked me to serve as chair of the world's leading air quality regulatory organization, and look forward to the opportunity to work with him in meeting the continuing challenges of reducing air pollution in California," said Sawyer.

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.