Founding father of energy efficient buildings to receive National Medal of Technology

The White House announced on Friday, Dec. 21, that Art Rosenfeld, Scientist Emeritus of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division, will receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Rosenfeld is known as the founding father of energy efficiency in buildings.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees are selected by a distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors.

Art Rosenfeld is a professor of physics emeritus at U.C. Berkeley and was the last graduate student of Nobelist Enrico Fermi. In 1955 he joined the physics faculty at U.C. Berkeley, and the research group of Luis Alvarez, who later received the Nobel Prize in 1969 for the discovery of a dozen subatomic particles. In 1974, in response to the OPEC oil embargo, Rosenfeld switched to the new field of efficient use of energy, and founded the LBNL Center for Building Science, which he led until 1994, when he was appointed senior advisor to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. At the end of the Clinton Administration in 2000 he was appointed commissioner at the California Energy Commission, where he served two terms until 2010. Meanwhile, in 2006 he received from the President and the Secretary of Energy, the Enrico Fermi Award for his contributions to energy efficiency. He is currently guest senior scientist, in the EETD Division at LBNL.


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