UCR’s CE-CERT honored for clean air leadership

Author: David Danelski
May 21, 2024

engine testing
Researchers with UCR's CE-CERT test a heavy duty vehicle engine. (UCR/Stan Lim)

UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology, known as CE-CERT, has been recognized by Southern California’s air quality agency for three decades of research that reduces air pollution and improves air quality.

Part of the Bourns College of Engineering, CE-CERT has developed various vehicle and energy sector technologies that reduce unhealthful ozone and particle air pollution as well as carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. 

South Coast Air Quality Management District, or AQMD, honored CE-CERT officials as the recipients of Leadership in Air Quality Award at the 34th Annual Clean Air Awards ceremony that was held virtually on April 5, 2024.

The air district works to reduce air pollution in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and is governed by a board of mostly local elected officials. It plays an essential role shaping regulations and policies needed for Southern California to meet federal and state air quality health standards.

Don Collins
Don Collins

“The credit for all of CE-CERT’s achievements goes to the hundreds of individuals who have contributed their expertise and passion over the past 30 years,” said Don Collins, CE-CERT director and a professor environmental engineering science.

When presenting the award, AQMD board member Larry McCallon, who is also the mayor pro tem of the city of Highland, noted that CE-CERT makes contributions in five key areas: renewable energy, vehicle technology, transportation systems, pollution formation in the atmosphere, and human exposure and health effects.

“CE-CERT is a leading force in tackling air quality challenges,” McCallon said. “Their research spans understanding emissions’ effects on air quality to advancing renewable energy technologies.”

CE-CERT’s Collins added, “Our success is deeply rooted in our collaborative partnerships. By working closely with our partners, we have been able to develop science-based solutions that translate into real-world impact.” 

Established in 1992, CE-CERT has been dedicated to cutting air pollution and its impact on public health. With an interdisciplinary approach and advanced technology, CE-CERT has spearheaded transformative solutions to address society’s most complex air quality challenges. The center engages with policymakers, regulatory agencies, industry officials, and communities to advocate for evidence-based air quality policies and regulations.

“We are deeply humbled to receive the 2024 South Coast AQMD Leadership in Air Quality Award,” said former CE-CERT director Matthew Barth, who is a Bourns professor and associate dean for research and graduate education. “CE-CERT has always strived to serve as an ‘honest broker’ in conducting research that helps regulatory agencies, our industry partners, and society itself.”