Margaret Fels

Hertz Fellow: Margaret Fels

University of California, Davis/Livermore

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

1965 - 1968

Margaret “Meg” Fels In Memory 2011

Margaret Fels (Meg) blazed a trail as the first woman to become a Hertz Fellow in 1966. She received her PhD from the University of California, Davis/Livermore. As much as she loved atomic physics, she fought to avoid work that supported nuclear weapons and their development. She pursued theoretical physics and found her way into the nascent field of energy conservation in the 1970s. She worked at Princeton’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies for almost three decades, during which time she briefly joined Princeton’s engineering school faculty. She left her faculty position to research computer technology applications to statistically model and analyze energy use and conservation. Meg created the Princeton Scorekeeping Method (PRISM), which became the national standard-bearer in energy efficiency scoring for over a decade. At Princeton, Meg was instrumental in leading programs to build elementary school teachers’ and Princeton undergraduates’ competence and confidence in teaching math and science.