Three receive California's premier air quality award
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board today honored recipients of the 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, California's premier award recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving air quality.
"These three individuals have championed public health with extraordinary contributions to air pollution science, research and technology," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "The Haagen-Smit Award is our way of honoring these individuals who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to protecting public health throughout their long and distinguished careers."
Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, the "Nobel Prize" in air quality achievement, are given annually to individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions toward improving air quality and climate change science, technology and policy, furthering the protection of public health.
The 2014 Award Recipients:
Dr. Donald Blake, professor of chemistry, University of California Irvine
Dr. Blake has carried out internationally acclaimed measurements of atmospheric volatile organic compounds that have provided critical insights into their roles in air pollution and climate change. His research has shown how elevated air pollution in some cities, such as Mexico City, can be attributed to propane use and cooking emissions rather than traffic pollution.
Dr. Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health, University of California Berkeley
Dr. Smith holds visiting professorships in India and China, where he works to bring clean air to all people, particularly those who suffer from high exposures to smoke from traditional cookstoves using biomass and coal fuels. His research was critical to the development of a global burden of disease estimate that 4 million people die prematurely from household fuel combustion each year and in helping trigger the first recognition of the importance of air pollution within health ministries.
Dr. John Wall, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Inc.
Dr. Wall has played a leadership role in the development and implementation of all the major technology advancements ultimately leading to the near-zero levels of emissions of particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen from engines. He has consistently taken a proactive environmentally conscious position for the diesel industry throughout his career.
In light of the global connection between air quality and climate change, the scope of the Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards program is now international, with an added focus on climate change science and mitigation.
California's premier air quality award is named for the late Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit — known as the "father" of air pollution science and control. The award recognizes those who continue his legacy through perseverance, leadership and innovation in the areas of research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service. Dr. Haagen-Smit's breakthrough research, which became the foundation upon which today's air pollution standards are based, concluded that most of California's smog is the result of photochemistry — the reaction of sunlight with industrial and motor vehicle exhaust to create ozone. The selection committee is comprised of past award winners.
To learn more about the Haagen-Smit award: https://www.arb.ca.gov/research/hsawards/hsawards.htm
For a list of all past award Haagen-Smit winners: https://www.arb.ca.gov/research/hsawards/winners/winners.htm