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Photo of Allen, David
Office Location: GLT 4.110, PRC 1.320

David Allen


Norbert Dittrich-Welch Chair in Chemical Engineering

Department Research Areas:
Environmental Engineering

Research Website

Research Presentation for Prospective Graduate Students

Educational Qualifications

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (1983)
M.S., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology (1981)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University (1979)

Courses Taught

CHE 341 Design for Environment
UGS 303 Sustaining a Planet


Air quality and environmental sustainability


Dr. David Allen is the author of seven books and over 250 papers, primarily in the areas of urban air quality, the engineering of sustainable systems, and the development of materials for environmental and engineering education. Dr. Allen has been a lead investigator for multiple air quality measurement studies, which have had a substantial impact on the direction of air quality policies. He directs the Air Quality Research Program for the State of Texas, and he is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. He has developed environmental educational materials for engineering curricula and for the University’s core curriculum, as well as engineering education materials for high school students. He led the development of a year-long high school engineering course, Engineer Your World, which is used in hundreds of high schools nationwide.

Awards & Honors

  • ENI Energy Transition Award, 2020
  • National Academy of Engineering (elected a member in 2017)
  • Air and Waste Management Association, Critical Review Keynote Lecturer, 2016
  • Julian C. Smith Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 2016
  • Class of 1979 Distinguished Alumnus (Cornell University)
  • Zarrow Family K-16 Teaching Innovation Award (given once every 3 years at the University of Texas, 2014
  • Elected Fellow, American Chemical Society, 2013
  • Walter J. Weber Jr. Distinguished Lecture for Environmental and Energy Sustainability, University of Michigan, 2013
  • Roy F. Weston Distinguished Lecture, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2013
  • Elected Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2012
  • 2011 Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Presidential Young Investigator, 1986

Selected Publications

  • Pacsi, A.P., Sanders, K.T., Webber, M.E., and Allen, D.T., The Spatial and Temporal Impacts on Water Consumption in Texas From Rapid Shale Gas Development and Use, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 2, 2028-2035, doi: 10.1021/sc500236g (2014).
  • DeRosa, S. and Allen, D.T., Impact of Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids Supplies on the U.S. Chemical Manufacturing Industry: Predicted Cost and Energy Intensity Effects and Identification of Bottleneck Intermediates, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 3, 451-459, doi: 10.1021/sc500649k (2015).
  • Pacsi, A.P., Kimura, Y., McGaughey, G., McDonald-Buller, E.C., and Allen, D.T., Regional Ozone Impacts of Increased Natural Gas Use in the Texas Power Sector and Development in the Eagle Ford Shale, Environmental Science & Technology, 49, 3966-3973, doi: 10.1021/es5055012 (2015).
  • Zavala-Araiza, D., Allen, D.T., Harrison, M., George, F.C. and Jersey, G.R., Allocating Methane Emissions to Natural Gas and Oil Production from Shale Formations, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 3, 492-498, doi: 10.1021/sc500730x (2015).
  • DeRosa, S. and Allen, D.T., Impact of New Technologies and Chemical Manufacturing Routes on the Petrochemical Industry in the United States, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 55, 5366-5372 (2016).
  • Allen, D.T., Emissions from oil and gas operations in the United States and their air quality implications, Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association (Critical Review), 66, 549-575, doi:10.1080/10962247.2016.1171263 (2016).
  • DeRosa, S. and Allen, D.T., Opportunities for Chemical Manufacturing Using Natural Gas Feedstocks in the San Juan Basin, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 55, 8480-8489, doi: 10.1021/acs.iecr.6b01370 (2016).
  • Allen, D.T., Smith, D., Torres, V.M. and Cardoso Saldaña, F., Carbon dioxide, methane and black carbon emissions from upstream oil and gas flaring in the United States, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 13, 119-123 (2016).
  • DeRosa, S. and Allen, D.T., Comparison of Attributional and Consequential Life Cycle Assessments in Chemical Manufacturing, Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies, M. Abraham, ed. Elsevier, doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.10069-7 (2017).
  • Zavala-Araiza, D., Alvarez, R.A., Lyon, D.R., Allen, D.T., Marchese, A.J., Zimmerle, D.J. and Hamburg, S.P., Super-emitters in Natural Gas Infrastructure are Caused by Abnormal Process Conditions, Nature Communications, 8, 14012, doi: 10.1038/ncomms14012 (2017).
  • Alvarez, R.A., Zavala-Araiza, D., Lyon, D.R., Allen, D.T., Barkley, Z.R., Brandt, A.R., Davis, K.J., Herndon, S.C., Jacob, D.J., Karion, A., Kort, E.A., Lamb, B.K., Lauvaux, T., Maasakkers, J.D., Marchese, A.J., Omara, M., Pacala, S.W., Peischl, J., Robinson, A.L., Shepson, P.B., Sweeney, C., Townsend-Small, A., Wofsy, S.C., and Hamburg, S.P., Assessment of Methane Emissions From the U.S. Oil and Gas Supply Chain, Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aar7204 (2018).
  • Zimmerle, D., Vaughn, T., Luck, B., Lauderdale, T., Keen, K., Harrison, M., Marchese, A.J., Williams, L., Allen, D., Methane Emissions From Gathering Compressor Stations in the U.S., Environmental Science & Technology, 54, 7552–7561 (2020).
  • Cardoso-Saldaña, F.J., Allen, D.T., Projecting the Temporal Evolution of Methane Emissions From Oil and Gas Production Basins, Environmental Science & Technology, 55, 2811–2819 (2021).
  • Allen, D.T., Q. Chen, J.B. Dunn, Consistent Metrics Needed for Quantifying Methane Emissions From Upstream Oil and Gas Operations, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 8, 345–349 (2021).
  • Allen, D.T., Cardoso-Saldaña, F.J., Kimura, Y., Chen, Q., Xiang, Z., Zimmerle, D., Bell, C., Lute, C., Duggan, J., Harrison, M., Methane Emission Estimation Tool (MEET) For Predictions of Emissions From Upstream Oil and Gas Well Sites With Fine Scale Temporal and Spatial Resolution, submitted to Science of the Total Environment (2021).