Valerie Thomas is the Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy. Her research interests are the efficient use of materials and energy, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include the use of information technology in product lifecycle management, the linkage of risk assessment and lifecycle assessment, and the physical dynamics of second-hand markets.
Thomas received a B. A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University. From 1986 to 1989, she was a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1989 to 2004, she was a Research Scientist at Princeton University, in the Princeton Environmental Institute and in the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and was a Lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2004-05, Thomas was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow.
Thomas is a Member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.