Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards

Honoring Air Quality Achievements

This page last reviewed May 18, 2016


Join us at the Cal EPA Headquarters on Wednesday, May 18th for

"Clean Air Leadership Talks with the 2015 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award Winners"

Free Educational Event on May 18 Honoring Clean Air Award Recipients

Learn about real-world air pollution problems and innovative solutions from four individuals who will be honored with California’s premier air quality award for their career contributions. The Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award is named for the late Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit – known as the “father of air pollution science and control.” Awards recognize those who continue Haagen-Smit’s work through perseverance, leadership and innovation in the areas of research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service.

Jiming Hao, Univ of Tsinghua
Jiming Hao, Ph.D.
International Air Pollution Control

Kimberly Prather, Ph.D.
Atmospheric Chemistry Research
Michael J. Prather, UC Irvine
Michael Prather, Ph.D.
Climate Change Research
Donald Stedman, Univ of Denver
Donald Stedman, Ph.D.
Emission Control Technologies

The public is invited to this free event.


Each will give a 20-minute talk highlighting their research:   
Air Pollution Control in China: Progress and Perspective
Jiming Hao, Dean and Professor at the Research Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of Tsinghua, China, where he works to mitigate severe air pollution in China which has improved the lives and health of many Chinese citizens.

Keeping Atmospheric Chemistry in the IPCC Climate Assessments
Michael Prather, Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, has made fundamental contributions to the scientific understanding of the role and impacts of various air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Global Connections: What is Controlling California’s Rainfall?
Kimberly Prather, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, has transformed our understanding of atmospheric aerosols and their impacts on atmospheric chemistry, climate, and the hydrologic cycle.

Donald H. Stedman: 50 Years of Air Quality Instrument Inventions and Measurements
Gary Bishop will share insights on the pioneering work he and the late Donald Stedman of the University of Denver conducted on real-world measurements of various air pollutants. Dr. Donald Stedman was selected as a 2015 Clean Air Award winner just prior to his passing in April 2016.

For more information call 916-322-3893.


  • California Environmental Protection Agency, Byron Sher Auditorium, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016
  • 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Webcast http://www.calepa.ca.gov/Broadcast/ 
  • Outlook button   Save to Outlook


logo for haagen-smit clean air award

Since 2001, the California Air Resources Board has annually bestowed the distinguished Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards.  The awards are given to extraordinary individuals to recognize significant career accomplishments in at least one of these air quality categories: research, environmental policy, science and technology, public education and community service.  Over the past 13 years there have been 37 acclaimed recipients.  In light of the global connection between air quality and climate change, the scope of the program has expanded to include an international focus and a focus on climate change science and mitigation.  Learn more about the past winners.

Who is Dr. Haagen-Smit?

The prestigious award program was named after Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit, a native of Utrecht in the Netherlands, who was a leader in developing air quality standards based on his research efforts. Dr. Haagen-Smit, known by many as the "father" of air pollution control, was a graduate of the University of Utrecht and a biochemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena for 16 years before beginning his air pollution research in 1948. Through a series of experiments, he found that most of California's smog resulted from photochemistry (when exhaust from motor vehicles and industrial facilities react with sunlight to create ozone). This breakthrough is the foundation upon which today's nationwide air pollution standards are based. After serving for eight years as an original board member of ARB's predecessor, the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, Dr. Haagen-Smit became ARB's first chairman in 1968. In 1977, he died of lung cancer two months after the ARB laboratory in El Monte was dedicated in his name.

Dr. Haagen-Smit has been honored with another award program administered by Atmospheric Environment, a publication of original air pollution research and its applications. See more information on the Atmospheric Environment Haagen-Smit Prize and recent winners.

Dr. Haagen-Smit in a labResources

Review information about the 2008 Annual Haagen-Smit Symposium which focused on the role of land use and transportation in meeting AB 32 requirements and achieving California’s vision of a low-carbon future.

For more information on Dr. Haagen-Smit visit these links:

For more information on ARB's Clean Air Awards, contact Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893.

Photos Courtesy of the Archives, California Institute of Technology