Valerie Thomas

Anderson Interface Chair of Natural Systems

Member Of:
  • Climate and Energy Policy Laboratory
  • School of Public Policy
  • Technology Policy and Assessment Center
Office Location: Groseclose 415


Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Chair of Natural Systems, with a joint appointment in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School of Public Policy. Her research interests span energy systems, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include low carbon freight transportation systems, environmental impacts of food systems, and energy development in Africa. Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University. She was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and then a Research Scientist at Princeton University, in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and was a Lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2004-05, Thomas was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She has served as a member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board, and as a member of the USDA/DOE Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee. 

  • PhD, Physics, Cornell University
  • BA, Physics, Swarthmore College
Awards and
  • Georgia Tech Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Award, 2018
  • Fellow, AAAS
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
Areas of
  • Energy
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Lifecycle Analysis
  • Sustainability


Research Fields:
  • Agriculture, Health, and the Environment
  • Clean Energy
  • Climate Change Mitigation
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy, Climate and Environmental Policy
  • Global Energy Security
  • Global Nuclear Security
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
  • Transportation
  • Africa (Sub-Saharan)
  • Middle East
  • United States
  • United States - Georgia
  • United States - Southeast
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Environmental Performance
  • Food Systems
  • National Security
  • Science and Technology
  • Sustainability


  • PHIL-6000: Responsible Conduct-Res
  • PUBP-6701: Energy Technol & Policy