Valerie Thomas, the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering's Anderson Interface Professor of Natural Systems, has been awarded the Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award by Georgia Tech's Faculty Honors Committee. The award was established to recognize Georgia Tech faculty who have made significant interdisciplinary contributions to teaching and research.
Thomas has been active in a wide variety of research areas including nuclear arms control, energy policy, high-energy physics, environmental sustainability, and technology assessment. Her collaborations are equally varied, including colleagues from academia, and the public and private sectors. The nature of her collaborations and diverse subject expertise has resulted in research that engages the public and has had meaningful impacts in policy making. The award will be presented at the annual Georgia Tech Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Thomas holds a joint appointment in the Stewart School and in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. Her research interests include energy systems, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Her current research projects include the environmental impacts of biofuels and electricity system policy and planning.
Thomas is a member of the USDA/DOE Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. In 2004-2005, she was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society, and has been a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board. She is currently a member of the board of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and a member of the Federation of American Scientists Board of Experts.
She has previously worked at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute. Thomas received a B.A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.