Art Rosenfeld received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1954 at the University of Chicago under Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi. He then joined the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he joined, and eventually oversaw, the Nobel prize-winning particle physics group of Luis Alvarez at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) until 1974.
In 1974, Dr. Rosenfeld changed his research focus to the efficient use of energy and formed the Center for Building Science at LBNL, which he led until 1994. The Center developed a broad range of energy efficiency technologies, including electronic ballasts for fluorescent lighting–a key component of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)–and a transparent coating for window glass that blocks heat from either escaping (winter) or entering (summer). Dr. Rosenfeld was personally responsible for developing the DOE-1 and DOE-2 series of computer programs for building energy analysis and design that was incorporated in California's building energy efficiency standard in 1978. The DOE-2 series has served as the national standard of building energy analysis for 25 years. Beginning in 1998, DOE-2–originally written in Fortran–was rewritten in C++ to include hundreds of new features that enabled users to capture decades of progress in building components, equipment, sensors, and controls. Thus equipped, DOE-2 was renamed Energy Plus and has since been widely adopted both in the United States and overseas.
From 1994-1999 Dr. Rosenfeld served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In 2000 California Governor Gray Davis appointed him Commissioner at the California Energy Commission (CEC), and in 2005 he was reappointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was responsible for the Public Interest Energy Research program, with an annual budget of $82 million for energy efficiency, including the California energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, and collaborated with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to oversee California’s Energy Efficiency Program with an annual budget of $1 billion. He retired from the CEC in January 2010.
Shortly before Dr. Rosenfeld’s retirement, the CPUC issued Decision D.09-09-047 on Sept. 24, 2009, approving the $3.1 billion, 3-yr cycle (2010-2012) of ratepayer funding–the largest ever–for energy efficiency programs. This remarkable decision was dedicated to Dr. Rosenfeld in recognition of his efforts in energy efficiency and his close working relationship with the CPUC.
Dr. Rosenfeld is the co-founder of the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), and the University of California's Institute for Energy and the Environment (CIEE). He is the author or co-author of over 400 refereed publications or book chapters, and received the Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest in 1986, the Carnot Award for Energy Efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1993 and the Berkeley Citation in 2001 from the University of California. He is most proud to have received the Enrico Fermi Award, the oldest and one of the most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. government and named for his mentor. Dr. Rosenfeld received the Fermi Award in 2006 from Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman on behalf of President George W. Bush, “for a lifetime of achievement ranging from pioneering scientific discoveries in experimental nuclear and particle physics to innovations in science, technology, and public policy for energy conservation that continue to benefit humanity.” This award recognizes scientists of international stature for a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the development, use, control, or production of energy.
In 2008 in London, The Economist magazine awarded him Innovator of the Year in the field of Energy and Environment.
In 2010 he was voted into the National Academy of Engineering. That year he was also appointed Distinguished Scientist Emeritus at LBNL, where he devotes much of his attention to an international campaign for the adoption of white roofs and “cool colored” surfaces to reduce heat islands and mitigate global warming.
In June 2011 in St. Petersburg, Russia, President Medvedev presented Dr. Rosenfeld with the prestigious Global Energy Prize in recognition of his lifetime of achievement in energy efficiency.
In February 2013, Dr. Rosenfeld received a National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama for his development of energy efficient building technologies as well as related building standards and policies. See footage of the award ceremony from February 1, 2013 on the Videos page (Dr. Rosenfeld is introduced at 24:45).