Back to Sustainability  |  More Profiles

Matthew Barth

Professor of Electrical Engineering
Yeager Families Professor of Engineering
Director, College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT)
Leader, Transportation Systems Research at CE-CERT
Matthew Barth

Sustainable Energy:

Researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) study atmospheric processes, emissions and fuel research to better understand and address the root causes of air pollution in Southern California and beyond. Housed at UC Riverside, the world's most advanced Atmospheric Processes Lab allows researchers to explore how smog-forming chemicals react with one another, how they hurt both human lungs and crops, and how long such harmful compounds remain in the air.

UCR's Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy (SC-RISE) is a partnership of the Bourns College of Engineering, industry affiliates government agencies, public and private utilities, trade organizations and other academic institutions. The center is developing materials for solar energy, solar energy systems, new photovoltaic devices and solar-thermal technologies. Also, the center will serve as an "honest broker" to provide reliable and unbiased information and advice on getting energy from the sun.

Areas of Expertise

Areas of Expertise:
  • Transportation systems, including intelligent transportation
  • Energy and Emissions models
  • Vehicle activity analysis
  • Robots, computer vision, and advanced sensing and control
  • Electric vehicle technology
College: Department: Affiliations: Press Release / Article: Profile:

Select Honors and Distinctions

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE), Intelligent Transportation Systems Society Board of Governors Member
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies Transportation, & Air Quality and New Public Transportation Technology Committee Member
  • Intelligent Transportation Society of America Environmental Task Force committee member
  • 2007 TRB Pyke Johnson Award

Latest Research


Q: What are the goals and purposes for CE-CERT?
CE-CERT is a unique model for a center, particularly among public universities. It bridges academia, industry, and government, often playing the role of “honest broker” working with other partners. Together we seek to improve our understanding of the environment and develop future environmental technologies. This model is a great resource for both industry and the government agencies. The center also provides a significant benefit to our students, who are able to work with us on real-world problems. The biggest and most exciting challenges here at CE-CERT are interacting with the wide variety of partners on numerous environmental research projects.

Q: What kinds of projects are there at CE-CERT?
When CE-CERT was established in 1992, the main research focus was on air quality and transportation. As CE-CERT grew, it was clear that energy research was also an important component of our mission. We established research programs in biofuels and transportation energy in early 2000, and kept growing. We now have four main areas of research in Atmospheric Processes, Emissions and Fuels Research, Sustainable Energy Systems and Transportation Systems Research. Projects range from developing autonomous vehicles and transportation systems of the future to converting yard waste into vehicle fuel. The center has state-of-the-art facilities to support our research, such as our world-class Atmospheric Processes Laboratory for testing air pollutants and a truck-based Mobile Emissions Laboratory for testing on-the-road vehicle emissions. Our most recent project is in solar energy research.

Q: How did the solar energy project develop?
By 2008, the Bourns College of Engineering had built up significant expertise in solar energy research. So it was natural to develop an initiative in solar energy, with a focus on new devices, solar thermal technology, and a variety of solar energy applications. Our Southern California-Research Initiative in Solar Energy (SC-RISE), launched in the fall of 2009, and will be a catalyst for the adoption of affordable solar energy. It includes a major emphasis on education and training, as well as applied technology, research and connections with those in Southern California who are concerned with sustainable energy. SC-RISE will train tomorrow’s engineers and technicians on how to work with solar energy technology. We expect this initiative will provide a variety of technological advances to make solar energy systems more of a reality in the future, and will assist local industry in developing the new technologies.

Q: What led you to your own research interests?
In the early part of my career, I worked on a variety of electrical engineering systems research problems. What CE-CERT offered was a way to apply these principles to real-world environmental challenges. It is clear that energy and environmental issues will be at the forefront for society; we really do need to come up with both short- and long-term solutions to our current energy and environmental problems.

Q: What are your interests away from the university?
I am very active as a boy scout leader in the Inland Empire council. I like to hike, camp, backpack and do many things in the great outdoors. I also like to travel and explore new places. When I have time, I enjoy reading technology/science adventure books, and listening to all kinds of music.
Matthew Barth "It is clear that energy and environmental issues will be at the forefront for society; we really do need to come up with both short- and long-term solutions to our current energy and environmental problems."

—Matthew Barth