Valerie Thomas

Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems

Member Of:
  • Center for Urban Innovation
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
  • School of Public Policy
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
Office Phone:
Office Location:
Groseclose 415
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Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems, with a joint appointment in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Public Policy. Her research interests are the efficient use of materials and energy, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include the environmental impacts of alternative fuels, assessment of renewable electricity options, evaluation of alternative vehicle technologies, and energy development in Africa. Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University. From 1986 to 1989, she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1989 to 2004, she was a Research Scientist at Princeton University, in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and was a Lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2004-05, Thomas was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. From 2003 to 2009 she was a member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board. She is currently a member of the USDA/DOE Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee. 

  • PhD, Physics, Cornell University
  • BA, Physics, Swarthmore College
Awards and
  • Fellow, AAAS
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
Areas of
  • Energy
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Lifecycle Analysis
  • Sustainability