Department of Geophysical Sciences and the College
David Keith has worked at the interface of climate science, technology, and public policy for over three decades, and is at the forefront of efforts to advance the science and policy analysis of solar geoengineering. At the University of Chicago, Keith leads a new Climate Systems Engineering initiative that explores human technological interventions as strategies to blunt the effects of climate change, including methods to reflect sunlight away from Earth, ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and more localized interventions such as protecting glaciers.
His policy work has ranged from analysis of electricity markets and carbon prices to research on public and expert perception of risky technologies. Keith’s hardware engineering projects include the first interferometer for atoms, a high-accuracy infrared spectrometer for NASA’s ER-2 aircraft, and the development of a stratospheric propelled balloon for solar engineering. He founded Carbon Engineering, a company developing technology to capture CO2 from ambient air. He is the author of A Case for Climate Engineering (MIT Press, 2013).
Keith earned a BSc in physics from the University of Toronto and a PhD in experimental physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most recently, he was the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard University John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.