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Klaus S. Lackner

Adjunct Senior Research Scientist in the Earth Institute; Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Earth and Environmental Engineering Department
1038D SW Mudd, Mail Code: 4711, 500 W. 120th Street, New York, NY 10027-6699
  • Director, Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Department Chair, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, USA
  • Cofounder, Global Research Technologies
  • Cofounder, Zero Emission Coal Alliance

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.


  • PhD: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.
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