Hanna Breunig

Hanna Breunig

Deputy: Sustainable Energy & Environmental Systems Department
Energy/Environmental Policy Staff Scientist/Engineer


Dr. Hanna Breunig is a Research Scientist and Deputy-Head of the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department in the Energy Analysis and Environmental Impacts Division. She holds a secondary joint appointment in the Earth Systems and Society Domain in the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division. Breunig specializes in techno-economic analysis, process modeling, market analysis, and environmental and human health impact assessment (life-cycle assessment) of emerging energy and negative emissions technologies. These include high temperature thermal energy storage, bioenergy, enhanced weathering, and gas (H2, CO2, CH4) capture, production, storage, utilization, and management technologies. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Breunig leads a monthly Techno-Economic Assessment and Life Cycle Assessment (TEA/LCA) working group for Berkeley Lab staff and affiliates. The group hosts discussions on conventional and emerging methodologies,  datasets, and tools, troubleshooting, and mini presentations.


Environmental Engineering, PhD, University of California Berkeley, 2015
Environmental Engineering, MS, University of California Berkeley, 2011
Environmental Engineering, BS, Cornell University, 2010


2023 Energy & Environmental Science Lectureship: Hanna Breunig -  February 8th 2024

The Royal Society of Chemistry awarded Hanna Breunig the 2023 EES Lectureship, which recognizes an outstanding emerging investigator working in an energy research topic within the scope of energy and environmental science, providing a platform to showcase their research to the wider scientific community.

Early Scientific Career Award: Hanna Breunig -  November 18th 2021

For exceptional scientific leadership in technoeconomic and environmental analysis of hydrogen storage and net carbon-negative technologies.

Spot: Hanna Breunig -  July 24th 2019

Leading the completion of two complex, high-profile CEC bioenergy projects.

Early Career Development LDRD Awards -  November 30th 2017

Hanna Breunig and Anna Spurlock, have been awarded new Early Career Development awards, as part of the Laboratory-Directed Research and Development Program. The award will fund each scientist’s salary and research expenses for the next two years:

  • Hanna Breunig: "Mitigating Fossil Fuel and Microbial Methane With New Materials for Distributed Energy Generation"
  • Anna Spurlock: “A Neuroeconomics Experiment to Study Routine Transportation Decision-Making Processes and Drivers”

The Early Career Development track within the LDRD Program is intended to help Lab scientists begin leading their own research, and could help them prepare to compete for DOE-funded awards such as the DOE Early Career Research Program awards.

Schmidt MacArthur Fellowship -  March 5th 2014

Breunig is a graduate student researcher in the Sustainable Energy Systems Group's emerging technology analysis group, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, and a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She is one of 16 Schmidt-MacArthur fellows in the class of 2014.

The Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship is an international postgraduate fellowship on the circular economy for design, engineering and business students. The Fellowship programme, a joint initiative between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the U.K. and the Schmidt Family Foundation in the U.S., offers an innovation platform for postgraduate students and academics from leading international design, engineering & business schools to redesign the economy.

As mentor to Breunig, Sustainable Energy Systems Group Leader Thomas McKone was also honored by the Schmidt-MacArthur selection committee.