Image of Daniel Sperling
Daniel Sperling
Founding Director, Institute of Transportation Studies
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Environmental Science and Policy


Daniel Sperling is Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy, and founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis (ITS-Davis). The Institute is staffed by over 150 faculty, staff, and student researchers. He is also Acting Director of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center.

In February 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed him to the “automotive engineering” seat on the California Air Resources Board. His appointment was confirmed by the California Senate in January 2008. His chief responsibilities are oversight and design of the state’s climate change, alternatives fuels, vehicle travel and land use, and zero emission vehicle programs. He also served as co-director of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard study, requested in the Governor’s January 2007 Executive Order. In 2008 he was appointed chair of the “Future of Mobility” Council of the Davos World Economic Forum. 

He has led ITS-Davis to international prominence by building strong partnerships with industry, government, and the environmental community, integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs, and connecting research with public outreach and education. ITS-Davis won the 2006 Robert M. Zweig Public Education Award of the National Hydrogen Association, 2005 TRANNY award for Organization of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation, 1998 Employer of the Year Award of the Women’s Transportation Seminar of Sacramento, and was selected as a finalist for the 2003 World Technology Energy Award.