AUSTIN — David Allen, an engineer and internationally recognized expert in air quality at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named chair of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board (SAB) for a two-year term. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced Allen's appointment Oct. 15. Jackson said his expertise in environmental engineering is a great asset to the board.
Allen will lead the board, which is an independently chartered group of federal advisory committees composed of external scientists and engineers. It provides independent advice on scientific and technical issues underlying the EPA's policies and decisions. Allen has served on the SAB for four years, bringing extensive leadership and expertise to his appointment.
"Dave Allen is the ideal scientist to lead the EPA Science Advisory Board. He understands how to use the best science and technology to address important policy and regulatory decisions," said Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
At The University of Texas at Austin, Allen holds the Gertz Regents Professorship of Chemical Engineering and directs the university's Center for Energy and Environmental Resources. He teaches chemical engineering undergraduate courses and one of the university's freshman signature courses "Sustaining a Planet." Allen also directs the Air Quality Research Program of the State of Texas
Allen is currently leading a major field study to measure methane emissions from natural gas production, about which little empirical data exists. The study brings together the university with the Environmental Defense Fund and nine natural gas producers. The findings will be made widely available in 2013.
He is also the director of the UTeach Engineering program at UT Austin. UTeach Engineering prepares undergraduate students pursuing teaching careers and current secondary teachers to teach engineering courses in middle schools and high schools. The program has developed a high school engineering curriculum that is being distributed nationwide.