Valerie Thomas

Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems


 Groseclose 415
  • Valerie Thomas Google Scholar


  • B.A. Physics, Mathematics minor (1981), Swarthmore College
  • Ph.D. Theoretical High Energy Physics (1986), Cornell University


  • Industrial ecology
  • Energy
  • Environmental
  • Technology assessment


Valerie Thomas is the Anderson-Interface Chair of Natural Systems and Professor in the H. Milton School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy.

Dr. Thomas's research interests are energy and materials efficiency, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include low carbon transportation fuels, carbon capture, building construction, and electricity system development. Dr. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society. She has been an American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow, a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, and a Member of the USDA/DOE Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee.

She has worked at Princeton University in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and at Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. 

Dr. Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2010
  • Excellence in Review Award, Environmental Science and Technology 2005
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society 1999