Thomas W. Kirchstetter

Thomas W. Kirchstetter
Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
University of California, Berkeley

Scientific Division Director, Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Environmental Engineering


Kirchstetter's research interests include: 

  • Air pollution science & technology: emissions and controls with a focus on the transportation sector
  • Aerosol science: black and brown carbon, optical properties
  • Aerosol measurement technologies: invention and evaluation of low-cost sensors; community air monitoring
  • Municipal solid waste-to-energy, evaluation of benefits and barriers to commercial scale-up
  • Mobility: energy impacts of emerging megatrends in people and freight movement

Kirchstetter's research group is studying clean energy technologies, developing novel air pollution sensors, and evaluating in-use pollutant emissions and controls. Current research projects include:

  • Evaluating the emission impacts of new after-treatment control technologies on in-use heavy-duty diesel trucks
  • Quantifying air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from dry anaerobic digestion and composting of municipal solid waste-to-energy
  • Developing low cost particulate matter and black carbon sensing technologies, and community air monitoring
  • Devloping and implementing new methods of quantifying pollutant emissions from trucks, trains, and marine vessels

Visit Kirchstetter's research page to learn more

Office 655 Davis Hall
Phone (510) 908-1237

Office Hours:

Summer 2019: by appointment




I was born and raised in Queens, New York.  In public middle school, I enjoyed math and various shops (yes, public schools used to have wood, metal, and other shops).  Good at math, I left for SUNY Albany to study math and become an actuary.  The fit wasn't great and I was turned on to atmospheric science by enthusiastic professors Volker Mohnen and Bernie Vonnegut.  After college, I worked in a combustion lab at Brookhaven National Lab in Long Island, New York, before heading to UC Berkeley for graduate school.  I've lived in Berkeley and neighboring cities ever since.  

Today, I still enjoy math and science, but in lieu of a shop, I have an aerosol laboratory and I enjoy conducting experiments and collaborating with students and research colleagues.  

Away from work, I enjoy playing music, hiking, camping, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. Thanks to the enthusiasm of my son, Zachary, I've been getting back into fishing, which is something I grew up doing with my dad on lakes and on the Great South Bay of Long Island.



B.S.Atmospheric Science and Mathematics, State University of New York at Albany, 1991

M.S.Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1994

Ph.D.Environmental Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1998

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1998 – 2000