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UC Davis professor honored with Heinz Award

September 23, 2010

Photo: Daniel Sperling

Daniel Sperling, Ph.D., founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis), is one of ten national environmental innovators to receive a prestigious Heinz Award, Theresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation announced this week.

The Heinz Award honors Sperling’s significant contributions to revolutionary transportation and energy research through a unique academic approach that merges research, policy studies, and entrepreneurship in pursuit of clean, equitable transportation options. The awards have attracted media attention in national publications, such as USA Today and Business Week.

“Dr. Sperling is a research and policy leader in reducing the carbon footprint of our vehicles and fuels,” said Heinz, chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. “His vision to meet today’s transportation needs matched with the environmental concerns of the future will have a profound effect on policy for years to come.”

The Heinz Award recognizes Sperling as instrumental in passage of California’s groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The standard is the first major regulation built on the concept of measuring greenhouse gases over a product or fuel’s lifecycle, from production to end use. Similar low carbon fuel policies are under consideration in 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, in Canadian provinces, and in Europe. Sperling now co-heads a national research team, funded by foundations, to create a similar template for a national low carbon fuel policy.

“To have a member of the UC Davis faculty receive this year’s Heinz Award recognizes the university’s embrace of global sustainability and green technology,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. “I congratulate Dr. Sperling and all in the university community who cultivate a culture of innovation, effectiveness, and stewardship.”

Read the full story on the Institute of Transportation Studies website.

(For more background on Sperling's work, watch his video comments about clean cars, green fuels and changing the way people drive. Or watch his segment on The Daily Show from February 2009.) 

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