Klaus S. Lackner

Klaus S. Lackner

Lackner Research Interest

Klaus 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. He is still participating in matter searches for particles with a non-integer charge in an experiment conducted at Stanford by Martin Perl and his group.  After joining Los Alamos National Laboratory, Klaus Lackner became involved in hydrodynamic work and fusion related research.  In recent years, 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.  Presently he is developing innovative approaches to energy issues of the future.  He has been instrumental in forming ZECA, the Zero Emission Coal Alliance, which is an industry-led effort to develop coal power with zero emissions to the atmosphere.  His recent work is on environmentally acceptable technologies for the use of fossil fuels.

2001-present Ewing Worzel Professor of Geophysics, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, USA
  Department Chair, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, USA
2006-present Director of Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA
2000- 2002 Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1998-2000 Chief of Staff, Acting Associate Laboratory Director and Acting Deputy Director,
  Associate Laboratory Director’s Office for Strategic and Supporting Research, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1982-1983 Post-Doctoral Researcher, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
1979-1982 Post-Doctoral Researcher, California Institute of Technology
1978-1979 Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Freiburg, Germany


Ph.D. Physics, Heidelberg University, Germany, 1978.
Theoretical Particle Physics, summa cum laude
Clemm-Haas Prize for outstanding Ph. D. thesis at Heidelberg University
Diplom Physics, Heidelberg University, Germany, 1976.
(Advisors: Professors John Grace and Xiaotao Bi)
Vordiplom Physics, Heidelberg University, Germany, 1975.

Honors and Affiliations

1980 Clemm-Haas Prize for outstanding Ph.D. Thesis 
1979 – 1980 Max Kade Fellowship, California Institute of Technology 
1980 – 1981  Fleischmann Fellow, California Institute of Technology 
1991  Weapons Recognition of Excellence Award
2001  National Laboratory Consortium Award for Technology 
1995 – 1996 Los Alamos Science and Engineering Advisory Board (Chair)
1996 – 2001 Member of the Editorial Board of Defense Science
2003 –   Earth Institute at Columbia, Steering Committee 
2000 –  National Energy Technology Center’s Carbon Sequestration Science Steering Committee
2000– 2005  Technical Advisor to the Ohio Coal Development Office 
2000 Cofounder of the Zero Emission Coal Alliance          
2004 Cofounder of Global Research Technologies

Synergistic Activities

  • Member of a Committee formed by the National Academies on the Future of Coal
  • Participated as a lead author on the IPCC report on Carbon Capture and Storage 
  • Head of Working Group II, (Technology Options) for the Global Roundtable on Climate Change.

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