2008 Winners of the Annual Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards
This page last reviewed December 10, 2012
Alex Farrell, whom we honor with a posthumous award, was at the center of a vibrant scholarly community of researchers and scientists and policy experts with a global reach. Farrell joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2003 and became director of the campus's Transportation Sustainability Research Center in 2006. He was recognized internationally as a leading expert on transportation fuels and the role of transportation in climate change. His research interests included biofuels, hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles, the low-carbon fuel standard and transportation sustainability. For the State of California, he was involved in the most central research and analysis projects for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and AB32, and he wrote and spoke frequently about plug-in hybrids.
A passionate and articulate researcher, Farrell frequently offered fresh perspectives to frame problems and results, challenging academic colleagues as well as advocates of clean technology and climate policy. His communication style was open, simple, and direct, even when faced with the daunting task of distilling complex scientifically-based ideas to a policy audience. His dedication inspired hundreds of students and many more who followed his work.
"He was one of the leading lights in the area of low-carbon fuels and energy systems, and his career was on a dramatic rise," said colleague Dan Kammen, a professor in the Energy and Resources Group and of public policy who helped recruit Farrell to UC Berkeley and co-authored many papers with him, including a just-released report on plug-in hybrid vehicles. "The trajectory of his career and his contributions were both impressive. Alex was a great mentor to the graduate students in the group as well as to students from across campus working on energy and sustainability."
Dr. Robert Sawyer is a pioneer in improving the environment through engineering solutions, and has made significant contributions to our understanding of air pollution. His active research—culminating in more than 350 technical publications and two books—is matched by his dedication to teaching and mentoring as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Sawyer was recently inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, which is among the highest professional distinctions. His service at the interface of science and civil society includes, most recently, his 2005-2007 Chairmanship of the Air Resources Board (ARB) where he guided the ARB through swift and substantive transitions, including the passage of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), which vested in ARB responsibility for reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020; Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order (S-01-07) to implement a Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and a Supreme Court decision that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant, which bolstered California’s court case to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases (under Assemblymember Fran Pavley’s AB 1493).
Henry “Hank” Wedaa has a life-long history of public service and working towards implementation of new technologies which help clean the air. He served eight terms on the Yorba Linda City Council, which included five non-consecutive years as Mayor of this north Orange County city located in Southern California. His career in local government included service on a wide variety of committees and boards including seven years on the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD’s) Governing Board, with four years as Vice-Chairman and three years as Chairman. Under his leadership the Board pushed for control of stationary source NOX, resulting in major air quality improvements. As a result of SCAQMD’s many accomplishments during Mr. Wedaa’s leadership on the Board he was elected Chairman Emeritus. He also served as President of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and twelve years as Chairman of SCAG’s Aviation Committee. Mr. Wedaa is a major advocate for advanced technologies as former Chairman of the North American Clean Air Alliance for zero emission vehicles, a co-founder of Fuel Cells for Transportation, and past President of the California Association of Councils of Government. He is currently President of the California Hydrogen Business Council and also served as Vice-Chairman and Director of Hydrogen 2000, non-profit organizations devoted to education about and advocacy for hydrogen technologies.
For more information on ARB's Clean Air Awards, contact Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893.