Professor Daniel Sperling receives environmental Heinz Award
September 27, 2010
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 today.
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.
“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.”
Sperling founded ITS-Davis almost 20 years ago with the goals of educating the next generation of engineers and policy makers, advancing cutting edge research in clean transportation, and disseminating its findings to contribute to the betterment of society.
Sperling’s innovative leadership is also felt in the broader community. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Air Resources Board in 2007. He founded a committee on alternative fuels and chaired the first committee on sustainable transportation at the Transportation Research Board (of the National Academies), and was the first chair of the Transportation Council of the Davos World Economic Forum. His most recent book, Two Billion Cars, has received international acclaim and demonstrates his ability to communicate complex topics in a way that touches people and moves them to action.
“I am humbled by even being considered for the Heinz Award,” said Sperling. “It pleases me that with all the issues society is facing right now, the Heinz Foundation has recognized global climate change and environmental issues as paramount. I continue to work toward more sustainable fuels and vehicles and to improve mobility for all.”
Now in its 16th year, the Heinz Award was created to honor the late U.S. Senator John Heinz. This year’s award recognizes individuals whose achievements constructively address global change in unique, innovative, and powerful ways. Each recipient receives $100,000. The Heinz Awards will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, DC on November 15, 2010.