Art Rosenfeld received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1954 at the University of Chicago under Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi, and then joined the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. There he joined, and eventually led, the Nobel prize-winning particle physics group of Luis Alvarez at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until 1974. At that time, he changed his research focus to the efficient use of energy, formed the Center for Building Science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and led it until 1994.

From 1994 -1999 Dr. Rosenfeld served as Senior Advisor to the U. S. Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. In 2000 California Governor Gray Davis appointed him Commissioner at the California Energy Commission, and in 2005 he was re-appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is responsible for the Public Interest Energy Research program, with an annual budget of $82 M; for Energy Efficiency, including the California energy efficiency standards for buildings and for appliances; and collaborates with the California Public Utilities Commission to oversee California's Energy Efficiency Program with an annual budget of $1 billion.

Dr. Rosenfeld is the co-founder of the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), and the University of California's Institute for Energy and the Environment (CIEE).

He is the author or co-author of nearly 400 refereed publications, received the Szilard Award for Physics in the Public Interest in 1986, the Carnot Award for Energy Efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy in 1993 and the Berkeley Citation in 2001 from the University of California. He is most proud to have received the Enrico Fermi Award, the oldest and one of the most prestigious science and technology awards given by the U.S. Government. He received this prestigious award on June 21, 2006 from the Department of Energy, Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, on behalf or the president of the United States, for a lifetime of achievement ranging from pioneering scientific discoveries in experimental nuclear and particle physics to innovations in science, technology, and public policy for energy conservation that continue to benefit humanity. This award recognizes scientists of international stature for their lifetimes of exceptional achievement in the development, use, control, or production of energy. As mentioned, this award is particularly important to Dr. Rosenfeld because he was Enrico Fermi's last graduate students.

On Oct 30, 2008, in London, the Economist magazine awarded him Innovator of the Year in the field of Energy and Environment. In 2010 he was voted into the National Academy of Engineering.