Friday, 18 April 2008

In Memoriam: Energy Expert Alex Farrell

By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 17 April 2008

– Alexander E. Farrell, an associate professor in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, who worked closely with state government over the past year to chart a course to reduce California's carbon emissions, died earlier this week at his home in San Francisco. He was 46.

Farrell, who joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2003 and became director of the campus's Transportation Sustainability Research Center in 2006, was recognized internationally as a leading expert on transportation fuels and the role of transportation in climate change. His research interests included biofuels, hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles, the low-carbon fuel standard and transportation sustainability.

"He was one of the leading lights in the area of low-carbon fuels and energy systems, and his career was on a dramatic rise," said colleague Dan Kammen, a professor in the Energy and Resources Group and of public policy who helped recruit Farrell to UC Berkeley and co-authored many papers with him, including a just-released report on plug-in hybrid vehicles. "The trajectory of his career and his contributions were both impressive. Alex was a great mentor to the graduate students in the group as well as to students from across campus working on energy and sustainability."


"Alex was brilliant, energetic, supportive, insightful and caring, and he had a way of challenging his colleagues and students to think more critically even when they thought they already were," said Tim Lipman, a UC Berkeley colleague and the founding research director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center. "His career had reached a point where his loss is an enormous one, not just for the Energy and Resources Group and the transportation center, but also for the global transportation and energy community."