The ACEEE family is saddened to learn that ACEEE’s founding board member Professor Marc Ross passed away this week. Marc was a beloved giant in the energy efficiency community who made a significant and lasting impact. He was a professor of physics at the University of Michigan and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Marc worked on the theory of fundamental particles until 1972 when his interests shifted to energy use and its environmental implications, leading him to help organize ACEEE.
Marc served on the ACEEE board from 1980 until 2005, and as board member, served as ACEEE’s first research director. He was instrumental in the establishment of our Transportation and Industry research programs while mentoring many of the staff. Marc’s work in the 1990s demonstrated the enormous potential to improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engine vehicles. In the 2000s, he brought basic principles of physics to bear in debunking the claim that higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards would make vehicles less safe. He thereby helped set the stage for the first increase in the standards in 30 years in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Marc would show up regularly in Washington DC and make the rounds, visiting ACEEE, Department of Energy, Public Citizen—in fact, anyone ready to roll up his or her sleeves on the energy problems of the day. He was a delight to speak with, always doing something useful and novel, and always genuinely interested in getting one’s input. He had a twinkle in his very blue eyes and a smile on his face. He was truly a kind, gentle man. Marc’s legacy in energy efficiency lives on today in the work of ACEEE and many others in the efficiency community.