Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Distinguished Scientist Emeritus Art Rosenfeld has been awarded one of the nation’s top prizes for his contributions to the field of energy efficiency.

The announcement came Dec. 21 when President Barack Obama named Rosenfeld one of eleven extraordinary inventors as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, one of the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony in early 2013.

Art Rosenfeld

Art Rosenfeld

“I am proud to honor these inspiring American innovators,” President Obama said. “They represent the ingenuity and imagination that has long made this Nation great—and they remind us of the enormous impact a few good ideas can have when these creative qualities are unleashed in an entrepreneurial environment.”

With a decades-long career in energy analysis and standards, Rosenfeld is often credited with billions of dollars in energy savings and is viewed by many as “the godfather of energy efficiency.” He started his career at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab in the 1950s as a physicist in the Nobel Prize-winning particle physics group of Luis Alvarez. However, in 1974, he decided to switch his focus to energy and the environment. He founded the Center for Building Science at Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) in 1975, where a broad range of energy efficiency concepts, analysis tools, policy ideas and technologies were developed over the next 20 years.

“Art’s long-standing efforts in the field of energy efficiency have truly changed the way we think about energy today,” said Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos. “He epitomizes the spirit of Berkeley Lab with his dedication and innovation. This honor is well-deserved.”

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees are selected by a distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors.

“We are thrilled with this award to Art. It is a wonderful and timely recognition of his towering leadership role in the US and internationally in understanding and capturing energy efficiency as a resource,” said EETD Division Director Ashok Gadgil. “We are very pleased and proud he helped found this division, and that after his careers at the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, he returned here as Distinguished Scientist Emeritus.”

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit the White House press release here.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit