is a researcher in the Institute for Energy Efficiency and Director of the TomKat UC Carbon Neutrality Project at the University of California Santa Barbara, and has appointments of Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Materials. His current activities are focused on climate change mitigation.
He is a member of the University of California President’s Global Climate Leadership Council, and co-chairs its Working Group on Applied Research. The UC President recently designated him the first recipient of the University of California System-wide Sustainability Champion award, in recognition of his contributions to the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
Prior to joining UCSB, he was the first President of the Kavli Foundation, dedicated to supporting basic scientific research in astrophysics, neuroscience, nanoscience, and theoretical physics. He has been a member of the technical staff and department head at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories (now Alcatel-Lucent Technologies), Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, Provost of Rice University, and President of Case Western Reserve University.
David Auston has contributed to research in the fields of lasers, nonlinear optics, and solid-state materials. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society.
A native of Toronto, Canada, David Auston earned bachelors and masters degrees in engineering physics and electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.