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Women @ Energy: Nancy Brown

March 15, 2013 - 11:00am


Dr. Nancy Jeanne Brown is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dr. Nancy Jeanne Brown is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Dr. Nancy Jeanne Brown is a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research interests are atmospheric science, chemical kinetics, air quality and climate modeling, high performance computing, and combustion modeling. She received a B.S. in Chemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Molecular Physics and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics/Physical chemistry at the University of Maryland. Dr. Brown has published numerous scientific papers and served as a principal investigator on many projects. She was a Research Professor at the University of California Davis, is a former Department Head of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and has held a number of teaching and research positions on the Berkeley campus where she is an Affiliate faculty in the Energy and Resources Group of the University of California at Berkeley. She has been a Professor Inviteé, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, a Governor's Appointee, Scientific Advisory Committee, State of California Acid Deposition Program, and a Member, Board of Directors, The Combustion Institute. She has also served on numerous State and Federal Advisory Committees. Among them are: Member of DOE’s Unconventional Resources Technology Advisory Committee that reports to the Secretary of Energy, American Physical Society Review Committee on Direct Air Capture of Carbon Dioxide, Member Committee on Ozone-Forming Potential of Reformulated Gasoline and participated in a Summer Study on Urban Meteorology both for the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Member Executive Committee and Chemistry Leader for DOE's Combustion Simulation and Modeling Initiative for the Strategic Simulation Initiative, University of California Executive Committee on Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program, Chair Scientific Advisory Committee, EPA Center (at MIT, Caltech, and NJIT) for Airborne Toxics, Member, Advisory Committee  National Science Foundation, Directorate of Engineering. Member Review Committee, Air Quality Program Peer Review, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chair of the EPA CMAQ Review Committee, and other advisory and review committees for the EPA.

1)  What inspires you to work in STEM?

The delight of:

  • Discovery
  • Learning new things
  • Problem solving
  • ntegrating knowledge

2) What excites you about your work at the Energy Department/Berkeley Lab?

Energy and environment are in lock step. The goal of protecting the environment while facilitating and optimize energy production inspires my research, which is concerned with improving our ability to accurately simulate reactive flows that describe combustion and atmospheric phenomena.

3) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?

Early intervention is really important using vehicles like science camps that are funded by scholarships. More outreach conducted by role models. More highly tuned messaging perhaps guided by advice from professionals in journalism or marketing. Getting the word out that science is enticing and exciting. Making the business of science less onerous.

4) Do you have tips you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Get involved in research as an undergraduate. Work really hard in graduate school to distinguish yourself.

5) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?

I am a foodie and I love to exercise. I also love live theater.