Alan W. Gertler, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research, Desert Research Institute
Alan Gertler

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1979
  • B.S., State University of New York, Albany, 1974


Dr. Gertler is the Vice President for Research at the Desert Research Institute. He is also the Senior Director of DRI's Clean Technologies and Renewable Energy Center, the organizational umbrella under which all of DRI's renewable energy research, education, and outreach are conducted.

His research includes both laboratory and field studies of atmospheric chemistry with particular emphasis on the impact of mobile sources on the environment. Dr. Gertler's research at DRI has also included characterization of factors affecting the rate and mechanism of SO2 and NOx oxidation in the atmosphere, wet and dry deposition processes, studies of chemical processes leading to "gas-to-particle" conversion, the effects of acids and their precursors on materials, fog and cloud droplet characterization, trace analysis of pollutants in air and water samples, and development of quality assurance procedures to ensure accuracy of wet and dry deposition data.

In addition, he has investigated discrepancies between observed and predicted automotive emission factors.

His current research includes measurements and characterization of emissions from mobile sources operating on traditional, biofuel, and HCNG blends, development of new methods to attribute observed PM levels to specific sources, evaluating the magnitude and sources of atmospheric deposition, source apportionment and urban air qualities studies in the developing world, and the use and impact of alternative fuels for transportation and power generation.

Among his many research projects (>$40M as PI or co-PI), Dr. Gertler has served as principal investigator for the DOE sponsored Nevada Renewable Energy Consortium, the Health Effects Institute sponsored Real-World Particulate Matter and Gaseous Emissions from Motor Vehicles in a Highway Tunnel, source attribution component of the USAID-sponsored Cairo Air Improvement Project, World Bank/NREL sponsored Hyderabad Source Apportionment Study, NCHRP-supported Road Sanding and Salting Effects on PM10 and PM2.5 Emissions by On-Road Vehicles, and the SERDP-sponsored Development and Validation of a Predictive Model to Assess the Impact of Coastal Operations on Urban Scale Air Quality.

He is currently the PI for the EPA sponsored program: Developing an Urban Air Quality Management Program in Jakarta.