Thomas W. Kirchstetter

Thomas W. Kirchstetter
Adjunct Professor
Scientific Division Director, Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Environmental Engineering


Kirchstetter's air pollution science and technology research interests include: 

  • Pollutant emissions and controls
  • Climate and environmental impacts of transportation
  • Pollutant measurement technologies, development of low-cost sensors, and community air monitoring networks
  • Chemical and optical characterization of biomass burning and carbonaceous aerosols
  • Environmental impacts of municipal solid waste-to-energy

Visit Kirchstetter's research page and check out our publications to learn more

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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