Regarded as a prophet in his own time, Arthur H. Rosenfeld drove California to become a global leader in energy efficiency and now, through an award named in his honor, his legacy inspires new generations of graduate student energy pioneers at Berkeley.In the 1970s, he provided energy regulators with data needed to enact some of the toughest efficiency standards in the world, believing that conserving energy is cheaper and smarter than building more power plants. Governor Jerry Brown calls Dr. Rosenfeld “the guru of efficiency.” His efforts have delivered huge energy savings for Californians and have been copied by states and countries worldwide.The Art Rosenfeld Award supports graduate students whose work will follow in the footsteps of this renowned physicist, Berkeley Professor, and former California Energy Commissioner.For example, Nkiruka (Nikky) Avila, the 2016 Rosenfeld recipient, plans to use her award for fieldwork in Lagos City, Nigeria. There, she will look at ways to improve unreliable power grids in what is now Africa’s fastest growing metropolitan area, nearing 21 million people.


“This award allowed me to solidify my research plans to examine the power system in Lagos City, how it works and is used, and the energy decisions made by the Nigerian government.” explains Nikky. “I am interested in ethical. public health and economic issues in sustainable energy development and renewable energy.  I couldn’t do this without the Rosenfeld Award.”

She chose Berkeley for graduate school specifically to work with the Energy Resources Group (ERG), well regarded for interdisciplinary research. “Berkeley teaches you to ask the questions that can change the world,” continues Nikky

Nikky is the third student to benefit from the Art Rosenfeld Award for Energy Efficiency. The award was established by the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute and the Graduate Division with support from multiple contributors in order to promotes research and scholarship related to energy efficiency and to award students with demonstrated passion for pursuing scientific discoveries, policy changes, and/or the implementation of energy efficiency technologies in the world at large.

Recipients demonstrate a commitment to reducing the life-cycle cost of energy service delivery, taking into account environmental and carbon footprints at the local and global level.

The first two Rosenfeld recipients, Veronica Jacome and Noah Kittner are featured in the video above, and echo Nikki in sharing both gratitude and a sense of honor for their efforts to follow in Art’s footsteps.


If you think that global warming is a threat then you better do everything that you can.

— Arthur H. Rosenfeld