Adam J. Rausch, Ph.D.

Adam Rausch preparing a pH buffer in the field

Chemistry in the field

Adam standing next to a water storage tank in rural Maharashtra, India.

Water tank in Maharashtra

Research Interests

  • Social and technical factors affecting success and resiliency of development projects
  • Developing-world and remote-area water infrastructure
  • Latent-variable, Bayesian models and sub-statistical quantitative methods
  • Development theory and behavioral economics
  • Capacitive deionization and electrochemical water treatment technologies
  • Science and engineering pedagogy


University of California, Berkeley

  • Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aug 2017
  • M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dec 2010
  • Fulbright Research Fellow (India)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow

Santa Clara University

  • B.S. Engineering Physics, Optics Emphasis, June 2001
  • Minors in Mathematics, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Art
  • University Honors Program
  • Magna Cum Laude


  • Boerner, P., Edwards, C., Lemen, J., Rausch, A., Schrijver, C., Shine, R., Shing, L., Stern, R., Tarbell, T., Title, A., Wolfson, C.J., Soufli, R., Spiller, E., Gullikson, E., McKenzie, D., Windt, D., Golub, L., Podgorski, W., Testa, P., Wever, M. (2012).  “Initial Calibration of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).” Solar Physics 275 (1-2), 41-66.
  • Rausch, A., Deiker, S., Hilton, G., Irwin, K., Marinez-Galarce, D., Shing, L., Stern, R., Ullom, J., Vale, L. (2008). “Recent Developments in Transition-Edge Strip Detectors for Solar X-rays.” Proceedings of SPIE 7011 (2), 70113T.
  • Stern, R., Rausch, A., Deiker, S., Martinez-Galarce, D., Shing, L., Irwin, K., Ullom, J., O’Neil, G., Hilton, G., Vale, L (2008). “X-Ray Microcalorimeter Research for Solar Physics at LMSAL and NIST: An Update.” Journal of Low Temperature Physics 151 (3/4), 721-726.

Selected Presentations

Science at the Theater; Berkeley Repertory Theater, 20 Sept 2010 Carbon Smackdown; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 30 June 2010

Previous Research Experience

Graduate Research Assistant, University of California, Berkeley / LBNL

  • Developed, designed, built, and tested laboratory-scale technology (pulse-charged capacitive deionization) for treating brackish water in the rural developing world; conducted theoretical modeling and simulation for same
  • Conducted field research in rural Ethiopia and India, including soliciting design feedback and impact assessment of water interventions
  • Wrote several successful grant proposals; presented work in large-format presentations for both colleagues and the public
  • Developed culturally-informed stove designs; improved methods for testing stove efficiency and emissions

Senior Research Engineer, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab

  • Conducted laboratory experiments to determine thermal, electrical, and optical properties of cryogenic sensors, including related theoretical modeling and data analysis
  • Performed tests for flight instruments, including SECCHI (on STEREO), AIA (on SDO), and SXI (on GOES)
  • Performed field repairs (hardware and software) for optics at the Swedish Solar Telescope (Roque de Los Muchachos, Canary Islands)
  • Designed and fabricated mechanical, electrical, and optical elements for the laboratory and field, including low-pressure, milli-Kelvin, and high-magnetic-field environments

Assistant Researcher, IBM Almaden Research Center

  • Developed mathematical models for the transmission of optical arrays in and out of holographic media
  • Improved data processing algorithms to reduce bit-error-rate in imperfect optical arrangements
  • Refined computer programs for controlling optical devices in the holographic data storage arrangements

Research Assistant, Cryogenic Dark Matter Search; Santa Clara University / Stanford University

  • Designed and built electronic and mechanical components for a 30mK probe used to test particle detectors
  • Maintained and operated a 4K probe, testing Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices
  • Designed and built electronic components to amplify low-temperature signals
  • Helped build and maintain a probe for testing JFETs at low temperatures

Teaching Experience

Graduate Research Instructor, University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2016

  • Assistant-taught upper-division/graduate level Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CIVENG 111), including leading a recitation class, assisting in lab prepration and sessions, and holding office hours.

Group Instructor / Visiting Scholar, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Spring 2013

  • Taught a project class (TDSL) on physical- and social-science field methods for the Centre for Technical Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), including lectures, lab work, and extensive trips to research sites in the field.

Teaching Assistant, Santa Clara University, Spring 1998

  • Assisted students with laboratory work for modern physics for scientists and engineers (Physics 7L).

Honors and Merit Awards

  • Berkeley CEE Graduate Merit Fellowship, 2016, 2009
  • Fulbright Research Fellowship, India 2012-2013
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship 2011
  • EPA STAR Fellowship (declined) 2011
  • Princeton CEE Graduate Prize (declined), 2009
  • University of Minnesota Graduate School Fellowship (declined), 2009