The 1980s saw big changes at the Applied Sciences Division, (Energy & Environment name chnaged in 1983), the laboratory as a whole, and the nation.

David Shirley was appointed as Lab Director—the first chemist to direct Berkeley Lab. Shirley’s first success came in 1982 when the U.S. Department of Energy approved an initiative called the Center for Advanced Materials. This research was aimed at solving "stopper problems" in materials science that were blocking technological developments. 

The Applied Science division contributed to astroid impact theory, helped to found the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, and then faced significant budget cuts throughout the decade as the Reagan administration dismantled many environmental programs.

1980 - Changes from division on up 

January 2 - Bill Fisk, air quality expert, is hired  

Fisk's ground-breaking work in indoor air quality becomes a national standard.

American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy founded

Rosenfeld, Jack Hollander, among others found the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

That year and Beyond

Free software became widely available to researchers and the public, starting with window energy-efficiency tools.

Researchers pioneer a new generation of advanced battery technology, develop compact fluorescent lamp torchieres, and launch appliance standards work in China — the world’s largest market for energy-efficiency opportunities.

DOE-2 energy analysis software program becomes the standard tool for building energy simulation modeling, the harbinger of a boom in building energy-efficiency software that continues today.

David Shirley in his office at Berkeley LabThat year - David Shirley becomes Laboratory director

David Shirley is named director of the Lab, the first time a chemist rather than a physicist was chosen to be director.

June 6 - Asteroid impact theory of the extinction of dinosaurs published

Helen Michel in 1969 with Frank Asaro, Walter Alvarez, and Luis Alvarez (l-r).University of California-Berkeley and Berkeley Lab physicist Luis Alvarez; Luis' son Walter, a University of California-Berkeley geologist; and Energy and Environment's Frank Asaro and Helen Michel publish the asteroid impact theory of the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Michel is pictured, at left, in 1969 with Asaro, Walter Alvarez, and Luis Alvarez (l-r).

August - First biennial Summer Study on energy efficiency in buildings    

First American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy summer study on buildings, indicating a growing awareness and focus on energy efficiency in buildings.  

October - Barbara West steps down

Barbara West steps down as as administrator of the Energy and Environment Division.

November 4 - Ronald Reagan is elected president

Ronald Reagan is elected president, with campaign vows to eliminate the U.S. Department of Energy.

That Year - Aethalometer Created

The aethalometer, which measures the vertical distribution of soot particles produced by coal and oil combustion in the atmosphere, is created. The device reveals layers of soot above the arctic ice cap in concentrations comparable to those above urban areas.

Winter -  First issue of Energy and Environment Newsletter

The first known edition of the Energy and Environment Newsletter was published, chronicling division activities and related events.

End of Year - Energy and Environment Division growing in size

The Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory annual report shows that the Energy and Environment Division has 489 staff, not including the division office.

1981 - Energy programs diminished

Reagan begins to dismantle the energy programs that Carter had built up with the emphasis now on high-risk, high-payoff research.  

January 23 - James Edwards to "extract" the U.S. Department of Energy

James Edwards, a dentist, is appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy with the mandate to "extract" the Department of Energy from federal government.

March 16 - Mark Alper appointed division administrator

Mark Alper is appointed division administrator following a search.      

That year - Most solar projects terminated

Most solar energy projects lose funding and are terminated.

Fall - Grether appointed deputy division head 

Don Grether is appointed deputy division head of the Energy and Environment Division.           

October 1 - Lab celebrates 50th Anniversary

Berkeley Lab celebrates its 50th anniversary. Energy and Environment Division sponsors a symposium at Lawrence Hall of Science that is moderated by Charles Hitch (former University of California President). Speakers include (pictured at left, seated, with Hitch standing) Rosenfeld (energy efficiency), Bob Sawyer (autos, also pictured at right), John Harte (environment).

From left to right: Art Rosenfeld, Bob Sawyer, John Harte, Charles Hitch Bob Sawyer

November - Will Siri retires, Mark Levine is appointed

Will Siri retires as leader of the Energy Analysis program. Mark Levine is appointed as the acting leader.     

That year - history of Lab's first 50 years released

Three historians describe the Lab's first 50 years: Lawrence and His Laboratory. Grether's commentary on the book gives the big picture for the first 50 years.

1982 - Program changes 

Changes for Indoor Environment and Energy Analysis.

February - Work starts on the Energy and Environment strategic plan

A memo from Elton Cairns launches the effort to develop the division's first strategic plan.    

April - Draft strategic plan published

Draft of strategic plan available for review.                

Craig Hollowell portraitJuly - Craig Hollowell dies of heart attack

Craig Hollowell (pictured), founder of the Indoor Air Quality effort, dies from a heart attack at 41. Dave Grimsrud takes over leadership.       

October - Craig Hollowell Lecture Series is established

Elton Cairns establishes the Craig Hollowell Lecture Series. As originally envisioned, the lectures would be given by division scientists.

November - Mike Rothkopf appointed to lead Energy Analysis Program

Mike Rothkopf is hired as the leader of the Energy Analysis Program after a national search.

November - Donald Hodel is appointed secretary of energy

End of Year - division staff down by about 100

Annual report shows that the division has 398 staff including the division office. A loss of about 100 from 1980.   

1983 - "Energy" and "Environment" become terms to avoid

Radon Risk, Selenium Contamination

Researchers identify the risks of radon, a radioactive gas that can seep into homes from the soil. Meanwhile, selenium contamination from irrigation drainage is identified as the reason wild birds are being poisoned to death at the Kesterson Reservoir in the San Joaquin Valley.

March - Hollowell series opens up

Via a revised memo, Elton Cairns extends the Craig Hollowell Lecture Series to those outside the division. In practice, the lectures were alternatively given by inside and outside speakers.            

July - Energy and Environment becomes Applied Science Division

Lab Director David Shirley changes division name to Applied Science Division. Elton Cairns is appointed to a second five-year term as division head. 

Applied Science Division headline

August - Rollie Otto steps down

Rollie Otto steps down as assistant division director to return full time to research.                

October - Rick Russo is hired

October - Jan Stowijk gives first Hollowell Lecture 

The first Hollowell Lecture was given by Jan A. J. Stolwijk, Yale, on "Indoor Air Pollution: Exposure and Health Effects."               

November - division celebrates 10th anniversary

The division celebrates its 10th anniversary with a reception in the Cafeteria. Speakers included Ed McMillan, Jack Hollander, Will Siri, Rosenfeld, David Shirley, and Elton Cairns. 

The first photo is of Hollander and Cairns. The second photo is of Hollander, Lee Schipper, Maya Osowitt, and Will Siri.

Jack Hollowell, left, and Elton Cairns

Jack Hollander, Lee Schipper, Maya Osowitt, and Will Siri (left to right)

Late in year - Alex Quintanilla is appointed interim assistant division head         

1984 - Advisory committee forms to reorganize division

Orwell novel 1984 does not come true. Apple Macintosh is introduced during the Super Bowl. 

Cool Roofs Research 

Rosenfeld kicks off research on the benefits of cool roofs for energy savings and reducing summer urban temperatures, ultimately proving enormous benefits and inspiring guidelines for city planners and policymakers.

Alex Quintanilla appointed assistant division director

February - The Applied Science Division has 60 term appointees

Don Grether's memo to Director Shirley states that the Applied Science Division has 60 term appointees. The large number was due to severe budget uncertainties in earlier years.

Early - Mark Alper leaves for the Center for Advanced Materials 

Mark Alper leaves for a comparable division administrator position in the new Center for Advanced Materials.              

June -  First division leadership retreat

first-division-retreat.jpgFirst retreat of the senior leadership of the division is held at H's Lordships. The major topics were organization, new research directions, and recognition of scientists.  

July 13 - Advisory Committee forms to reorganize division

Elton Cairns appoints an advisory committee to recommend an organizational structure. Co-chairs are Nabil Amer and Frank Robben. Don Grether represents the division office.           

August 29 - David Emery becomes division administrator following search       

November 6 - Ronald Reagan elected to second term as president 

November 21 - Draft of professional staff procedures document

A draft of the professional staff procedures document is developed. This document supersedes earlier documents on this subject.

Fall - Superconducting Super Collider Central Design Group moves, leaving behind building improvements in Building 90  

Superconducting Super Collider Central Design Group moves onto the 4th floor of Building 90, displacing Engineering and Technical Services Staff. Conference rooms are built and A/C is installed.

1985 - Division reorganization process begins

February -  John Herrington appointed U.S. secretary of energy

May - Advisory committee on organization reports out

June - David Emery leaves Lab

Dave Emery leaves to take a position in a private sector company in Colorado.

August - Cheryl Fragiadakis is division administrator

Cheryl Fragiadakis is appointed division administrator, coming from Exxon.    

December - Elton Cairns outlines proposed reorganization

Cairns sends a memo outlining proposed re-organization. He retains line management structure with program leaders reporting to division head, but proposes changes in the mix of programs. Also proposed are the Center for Building Science and the Center for Atmospheric and Biospheric Effects of Combustion.                

End of Year - Division up to 476 staff

From the annual report: the programs (and leaders) are Chemical Processes Research and Development (Elton Cairns), Solar Energy (Mike Wahlig), Energy Efficient Buildings (Art Rosenfeld, acting), Environmental Research (Tica Novakov), and Energy Analysis (Mike Rothkopf). Division has 476 staff.    

1986 - Division is reorganized and federal funding for energy efficiency plunges

Joan Daisey is Hired

Joan Daisey joins the Indoor Air Quality Group and leads groundbreaking research that proves indoor levels of many pollutants far exceed corresponding outdoor levels. Researchers begin to consider indoor air quality when assessing pollutant exposures and health risks. Daisey’s leadership connects the indoor and outdoor air research communities.

March - Division is reorganized

Programs (and leaders) are Energy Conversion and Storage (Elton Cairns), Environmental Research (Tica Novakov), Energy Analysis (Mark Levine), Building Energy Systems (Mike Wahlig), Windows and Lighting (Steve Selkowitz), and Indoor Environment (Dave Grimsrud). Art Rosenfeld is appointed director of the Center for Building Science.  


March - Center for Building Sciences is established

The Center for Building Sciences coordinates research across the four buildings-related member programs. The leaders, plus Rosenfeld, Grether, and Mike  Rothkopf, constitute the Center Executive Committee.  

Throughout year - Center for Building Sciences pushes for California Institute for Energy Efficiency

A major Center for Building Sciences activity is to establish the California Institute for Energy
Efficiency, recognizing the scope and importance of the state’s energy efficiency policies and
programs, and providing potential complementary financial support to DOE-funded programs.
Regular participants on the organizing committee are Rosenfeld, Jeff Harris, Levine,
Grether, Carl Blumstein, and Charles Hitch (former University of California President).

May - Second division leadership retreat 

The retreat was held at St. Mary's College in Moraga. Theme was "Future Directions of the Division."           

August - U.S. Department of Energy endorsement of the California Institute for Energy Efficiency 

A letter to Rosenfeld from Alan Streb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Renewable Energy, is taken as an endorsement of the concept by the U.S. Department of Energy.      

streb_letter_Excerpt_0 copy.jpg

End of Year - Division down to 383 staff 

From annual report: division has 383 staff, down from 476 in 1985.                                   

1987 - Division faces more financial problems

Landmark Appliance-Efficiency Research

Berkeley Lab supports the first-ever national appliance-efficiency standards (for refrigerators) for DOE. The program grows to include all appliances, and expertise is shared worldwide, eventually leading to more than $1 trillion in annual savings worldwide due to appliance energy-efficiency standards.

March - Continued budget cuts

The center executive committee reviews the Center for Building Sciences and gives high marks in difficult financial times for several of the member programs. Unexpected cuts by Congress in the energy efficiency budget made 1986 bad and 1987 is worse.                

October - Lab reorganized

Lab is reorganized with the introduction of associate laboratory directors for the research divisions.


Alex Quintanilla is appointed director of the Center for the Atmospheric and Biospheric Effects of Technology

End of Year - Division staff down to 340

From annual report: division has 340 staff, down from 476 in 1985 and 383 in 1986.                   

1988 - Start of the California Institute of Energy Efficiency era

China Energy Group Created

The China Energy Group is formed, kicking off an international effort to share energy-efficiency research with other countries. The effort soon spreads to other nations, including India, and eventually results in creation of the International Energy Analysis Department.

Early - Origin of California Institute of Energy Efficiency   

Rosenfeld and others envision a California Institute of Energy Efficiency that would be funded by California energy utilities and allocate "pooled" funding for projects at California universities and federal labs located in California, eventually becoming the California Institute for Energy and the Environment at UC Berkeley.  

May - University of California establishes California Institute of Energy Efficiency on Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory "campus"  

Letter to Director Shirley from William Frazer, University of California Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, establishes the California Institute of Energy Efficiency as an organized research unit on the Laboratory "campus," and as a branch of the University-wide Energy Research Group, now the University of California Energy Institute. Art Rosenfeld is the acting director.    


August - "Rosenfeld Effect" unveiled

The "Rosenfeld Effect" is unveiled at the 1988 American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study.          

November - George H. W. Bush elected president

November - Energy Analysis takes over Building 90 - 4th floor

Waxahachie, Texas, is selected as site for the Superconducting Super Collider, and its central design group soon thereafter moves to Texas. The Energy Analysis Program takes over the 4th floor of Building 90.   

That year - Joan Daisey is Indoor Environment head

Helmut Feustel, Joan Daisey, Rich SextroDaisey is appointed leader of the Indoor Environment Program, replacing Dave Grimsrud, who left the Lab. 

Pictured, left to right: Helmut Feustel, Daisey, and Rich Sextro.

1989 - Energy technology research and development stabilizes 

1989 is a period of relative stability and some growth in energy technology research and development.

March - James Watkins is appointed U.S. secretary of energy

Early - Applied Science Division faces possible disaster

J. Michael Davis is confirmed as U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Renewable Energy, leading to a near disaster for the division in that he proposed to fund only four core Labs (not including Berkeley Lab). Some behind-the-scenes political actions squelched the proposal. 

Advanced Battery Consortium is established 

The Bush administration establishes the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium in conjunction with the U.S. auto companies and the Electric Power Research Institute. The expectation was that electric vehicles would replace conventional vehicles.

Charles Shank portrait in officeSeptember - Charles Shank replaces David Shirley as Lab director


December - Lab and division organizational charts