Charles Shank became the fifth director of Berkeley Lab on September 1, 1989. He was the first director from outside the Lab, coming to the Lab after a 20-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Shank took over at a time when Berkeley Lab was moving away from its flagship enterprises of basic research in physics and chemistry and toward biomedicine, materials sciences, and energy efficiency research.

1990s - Acting Globally, Building Better Batteries

Clean Water, Better Batteries

More than half a million people worldwide have access to clean drinking water, thanks to a fast and cheap purifier developed at Berkeley Lab. The device, called UV Waterworks, uses ultraviolet light to kill waterborne diseases such as dysentery — a major cause of child mortality in the developing world.

A new family of long-lasting rechargeable batteries is made possible when Berkeley Lab scientists invent a novel class of solid polymer cathodes that lead to development of long-life, safe batteries for electric vehicles.         

October 12 - Third leadership retreat

The third leadership retreat is held at Dominican College in San Rafael. The theme is "Positioning the Division in a Time of Change." 

1991 - "Energy" and "environment" return to the division name

February/March - Lab's environmental health and safety assessed 

July/August - Bill Carroll is assistant division director            

Bill Carroll is appointed assistant division director with Environment, Health and Safety and Space responsibilities.    

September - Applied Sciences Division goes back to Energy and Environment Division 

Name changed back to Energy and Environment Division by Lab Director Charles Shank. Article has much information about the Division.    

Division name article excerpt

October - James Cole hired as California Institute for Energy Efficiency director 

James Cole is hired as the director of the California Institute for Energy Efficiency following a national search.          ​James Cole portrait     

That year - Mike Wahlig retires

First round of the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program. Mike Wahlig retires, thus ending the Building Energy Systems Program as such. The Simulation Research Group is put under Selkowitz in the Buildings Technology Program.        

1992 - Washington, DC office established

Lab and Energy and Environment Division Strategic Planning

The Lab and the Divisions go through a Strategic Planning process.               

March Next-to-last Hollowell Lecture

The next-to-the-last Hollowell Lecture is given by Wallace S. Broecker from Columbia.

July - Daisey replaces Ritschard as Center for Atmospheric and Biospheric Effects of Technology Director            

Joan Daisey appointed director of the Center for Atmospheric and Biospheric Effects of Technology, replacing Ron Ritschard, who retained his position as Deputy Leader of the Energy Analysis Department.    

July -  California Institute for Energy Efficiency receives funding from California utilities

Article about California Institute for Energy Efficiency receiving major funding from utilities.  

CIEE funding article excerpt

July - Fragiadakis is technology transfer head

Cheryl Fragiadakis is appointed head of technology transfer after serving in an acting capacity since March.    

Fragiadakis announcement excerpt

May - Cairns proposes office in Washington, DC

Memo from Elton Cairns to Charles Shank proposing to establish a Washington, DC, office and to hire Steve Wiel as head of the office. Chris Payne, Aimee McKane and Paul Mathew were among staff at the Washington location.             

September - Energy and Environment Division conforms to new Lab structure

Memo from Elton Cairns to Charles Shank shows an organizational chart that conforms to the Lab's new organizational structure. Program leaders become program heads, and group leader becomes an official position.        

1992 organizational chart

October - Steve Wiel is director of DC Office  

Steve Wiel is hired as the director of the Lab's planned Washington, DC, Project Office. Jeff Harris is the deputy director.              

November - Bill Clinton elected president

1993 - Anticipated rebirth of energy efficiency and renewables    

January - Hazel O'Leary is appointed U.S. secretary of energy  

Aeroseal System Developed

Turns out duct tape is least effective at sealing ducts; researchers replace it with a sealant that works, the Aeroseal system, eliciting significant savings in home and building heating and energy costs. 

June - Grand opening of DC office    

Pictured, from left to right: Jeff Harris, Elton Cairns, Angela Trice, Moira Howard, Steve Wiel, Mark Levine, Matt Lecar, Karen Wiel.Grand opening of the Washington, DC, project office, which is in the Portals Building near U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in the Forrestal Building. Pictured, from left to right: Jeff Harris, Elton Cairns, Angela Trice, Moira Howard, Steve Wiel, Mark Levine, Matt Lecar, Karen Wiel.

August - Syndee Brill is division administrator

Syndee Brill is hired as division administrator after a year-long search.           

Fall - Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles is established            

The Clinton administration establishes the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles with U.S. auto companies to develop a Taurus-size car that gets 80 mpg. The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium continues, but is only one component of a larger effort.

Left to right: Andy Sessler, Elton Cairns, Bob Budnitz, Art Rosenfeld, Don Grether at podium.November 1 - Division celebrates 20th anniversary

Division celebrates 20th anniversary with all-day symposium in Building 50 auditorium, reception in cafeteria, and dinner at the Faculty Club. See a full recap and the agenda here. Pictured, left to right: Sessler, Cairns, Budnitz, Rosenfeld, Grether at podium.

1994 - Art Rosenfeld retires 

March - Seismic retrofit of Building 90 begins

March - Fourth leadership retreat

The fourth leadership retreat was held at the Vintage Inn in Yountville. The theme was "The Role of the Division in Growth Areas."           

June - Syndee Brill is no longer the division administrator          

June -  Hazel O'Leary visits Lab 

Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary visits the Lab and has discussion with Ashok Gadgil about energy in India.                

July - Rosenfeld becomes U.S. Department of Energy advisor

Rosenfeld retires from the University and the Laboratory, and becomes a senior advisor to U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Evan Mills is de facto acting Leader of the Center for Building Science.

Rosenfeld article excerpt

September - First edition of Energy and Environment brochure

October - Start of Building Life-Cycle Information System

Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) funding received for "Building Life-Cycle Information System," setting the stage for much of the future buildings research and development.     

November (about) - Creation of Applications Team

The Center for Building Science announces the creation of Applications Team (A-Team) with Dale Sartor as the leader.                

November - Joe Jezukewicz appointed division administrator after a search           

November - Republicans win national election, will become majority in House and Senate in January

November - Energy Coordinating Committee among U.S. Department of Energy labs

Bill Fulkerson calls the first meeting of Energy Coordinating Committee, involving many of the U.S. Department of Energy labs. Mark Levine was the Berkeley Lab representative, with Don Grether as backup. Later, the Energy Coordinating Committee became the Laboratory Energy Research and Development Working Group.

End of Year - Last complete Energy and Environment annual report

Programs and heads are Energy Conversion and Storage (Cairns), Indoor Environment (Daisey), Energy Analysis (Levine), Environmental Research (Brown), and Building Technologies (Selkowitz). The staff are around 500 in number.

1995 - Another new name for the Lab

Home Energy Saver

Researchers launch the Home Energy Saver, the first Internet-based tool for calculating energy use in residential buildings.

March - Building 90 seismic retrofit  is complete 

March -  First edition of "From Lab to the Marketplace" 

First edition of  "From the Lab to the Marketplace." Prepared for the Galvin Task Force on Alternative Futures for U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.  

May - Evan Mills is appointed acting leader of the Center for Building Science       

That year -  Steve Wiel moves from DC Office to Lab 

Steve Wiel completes two-year commitment as head of the Washington, DC, office and moves to Berkeley. Dave Dragnich is hired as head of DC office.       

June - "National" added to Lab's name

Regents approve adding "National" to name of the Lab, as recommended by Director Shank. Preferred short version is Berkeley Lab.

Berkeley Lab article excerpt


Drastic cuts to Energy and Environment budget threatened

Congress threatens drastic budget cuts in areas of interest to the division. President Clinton heads off the cuts.

1996 - The end of the Elton Cairns era; end of the Energy and Environment newsletter

January - Fifth leadership retreat

The fifth leadership retreat is held at Lafayette Park Hotel, Lafayette. The theme is "Re-evaluating Our Strategic Directions." 

January - National Energy Research Supercomputing Center moves from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Berkeley Lab

Director Shank announces that National Energy Research Supercomputing Center will be moving.          

May - Cairns announces that he will step down as division director on September 30

May - Jeff Harris is leader of Energy and Environment Projects in Washington, DC

Cairns appoints Jeff Harris as the leader of Energy and Environment projects in Berkeley Lab's Washington office, following Dave Dragnich stepping down on June 1. Rob Johnson (deputy lab director's office) becomes head in the interest of other divisions taking an interest. 

June/July - Last known edition of Energy and Environment newsletter

Last known edition of Energy and Environment newsletter that chronicled division activities and events potentially impacting the Division. Lila Schwartz had been the last of several editors.  

Ashok and UV Water Works.jpgJune -  O'Leary honors Lab's Discovery Award winners

Hazel O'Leary sipping water.jpgSecretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary visits Lab and honors Discovery Award winners Ashok Gadgil, Xiao-Dong Xiang, and Peter Schwartz. In the photos, Gadgil at a village where the purified water is used; O'Leary drinks water from UV Water Works at a Lab ceremony.   

August - Start of a week of programs to mark the Lab's 65th anniversary    

September - First edition of almost weekly electronic newsletter authored by Ted Gardner

September -  PIER Program nearly kills the California Institute for Energy and Environment  

California legislature "restructures" the state's utilities (AB1890) and establishes the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. The California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE) nearly dies in the process as utilities stop funding it, but eventually CIEE it becomes involved with PIER and has a new life.      

September - Cairns' last day as division director, Grether becomes acting division director

That year - Massive space moves to accommodate the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center  

The National Energy Research Supercomputing Center moves from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Berkeley Lab. Lab makes massive moves to provide space in the 50 complex. Energy and Environment gains office space in Building 70 for people with labs in that building and loses space on the second floor of Building 90 that it had just paid to have remodeled.

October - Grether announces changes to division

That fall - The Lab addresses its organization of environmental research           

November 1 - Energy and Environment name change

On the organization of environmental research at Berkeley Lab and the logic of the name change from Energy and Environment to Environmental Energy Technologies.      

Novembe - Bill Clinton elected to second term as president                

November - Rich Sextro is assistant division director

Rich Sextro replaces Bill Carroll as assistant division director, and has responsibilities for Environment, Health and Safety and Space.

November - Cairns gives last Hollowell Lecture  

Tenth and last Hollowell Lecture given by Cairns on "Adventures in Electrochemical Energy for Electric Vehicles."       

December - History of the Hollowell Lecture series    

Article excerpt

December - Evan Mills (acting head of the Center for Building Science) takes one-year sabbatical

Mills goes to work with insurance industry. Rick Diamond leads center until Mills returns.

1997 - A new era begins with a new division director and name

Levine, left, stands next to Lee SchipperMarch - Mark Levine appointed division director by Lab Director Charles Shank

Levine is pictured at left with colleague Lee Schipper.

March - Environmental Energy Technologies Division

Simultaneous with Mark Levine appointment, Charles Shank changes division name to the Environmental Energy Technologies.                

March - Federico Pena appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy

April - Levine outlines Environmental Energy Technologies Division mission at a Friday Forum    

April - Opening of division staff art show on third floor of Building 90    

Rich Sextro stands before one of the art show entries

Division is reorganized

Mark Levine reorganizes the division somewhat by establishing the Advanced Energy Technologies Department (Grether, head), which encompassed the groups in the former Energy Conversion and Storage Program and some research from the former Environmental Research Program. Other parts of that program moved to the new Atmospheric Sciences Program (Nancy Brown, head).           

November 7 - Last edition of electronic newsletter authored by Ted Gardner

1998 - Internal changes to division

January - The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program

The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research Program will award up to $62M/year for four years for research and development.         

Early in the year - Division's three centers are disbanded

The Center for Building Science, Center for Atmospheric Effects of Technology, and Berkeley Electrochemical Research Center are disbanded. Berkeley Electrochemical Research Center lives on as the Berkeley Electrochemical Research Council, but is no longer on the division's organizational chart.  

January/February - Joe Jezukewicz steps down as division administrator

March - Memorandum of understanding signed by the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy to facilitate PIER funding

March - Marcy Beck is business manager 

Marcy Beck becomes the division business manager (formerly called division administrator) after being a business manager without a division since September 1997.           

March - Out of the ashes of the Center for Building Science arises the Communications Office

EET communications office mission statement excerpt

July - California Institute for Energy Efficiency moves from Berkeley Lab to the University of California Office of the President    

August - Bill Richardson appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy          

November - Rich Sextro steps down as assistant division director

1999 - Energy and Environment Division News Launch

Further Coordination with China

Recognizing the energy implications of China’s rapidly growing economy, the United States forges ties with the government of China to work on energy efficiency, focusing first on Chinese refrigerators, the largest refrigerator economy in the world.

March - Sixth leadership retreat  

Sixth leadership retreat held at Marconi Center. Focus was Research themes/initiatives, and obstacles to advancing initiatives.           

Spring - First edition of Energy and Environment Division News

First edition of Energy and Environment Division News, focusing on the division's research and development, is published for both internal and external audiences.      

April - Nancy Padgett replaces Marcy Beck

Nancy Padgett takes over from Marcy Beck as business manager. Beck becomes the leader of the division's new Program Development Office.  

Second version of division brochure published