Klaus S. LacknerEwing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics at Columbia University and Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Klaus S. Lackner participated in the World Leaders Forum panel, Columbia University and the Global Sustainability Challenge, in October 2008.
Klaus S. Lackner joined the faculty of Columbia University in 2001, where he is the Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, and a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Professor Lackner is also the director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Professor Lackner's scientific career started in the phenomenology of weakly interacting particles. Later, searching for quarks, he and George Zweig developed the chemistry of atoms with fractional nuclear charge, and a more recent participation in matter searches for particles with a non-integer charge in experiments conducted at Stanford University by Martin Perl and his group. After joining Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lackner became involved in hydrodynamic work and fusion-related research. He has published on the behavior of high explosives, novel approaches to inertial confinement fusion, and numerical algorithms. His interest in self-replicating machine systems has been recognized by Discover magazine as one of "seven ideas that could change the world." Currently he is developing innovative approaches to energy issues of the future. He has been instrumental in forming the Zero Emission Coal Alliance, an industry-led group that defined the concept of zero emission. His most recent work is on environmentally acceptable technologies for the use of fossil fuels. His current research focuses on carbon management, and specifically the capture of carbon dioxide in power plants, as well as directly from the atmosphere.
Professor Lackner's research at Columbia University is focused on mineral sequestration, zero emission coal plants, carbon electrochemistry and the study of large-scale energy infrastructures. In addition to his activities at Columbia, Lackner is a member of Global Research Technologies, LLC, a company based in Tucson, Arizona, that aims to develop a commercially viable device to capture CO2 from the air, with the intent of mitigating the effects of climate change.
Klaus Lackner received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 1978, and has held postdoctoral positions at the California Institute of Technology and the Stanford University Linear Accelerator Center before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1983.