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New Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern

Michael Wasielewski named executive director

Michael R. Wasielewski, the Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry, has accepted the position of executive director of ISEN, effective Oct. 1. ISEN, which was established five years ago as an Initiative, is changing its name to the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern.

As an Institute, ISEN expands its scope by adding the capacity to conduct its own research in a strongly collaborative setting to its existing mission of curriculum development, outreach, and research seed funding.

Professers David Dunand, James and Margie Krebs Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Mark Ratner, the Larry B. Dumas Distinguished University Chair of Chemistry; and Brad Sageman, professor and chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will serve as ISEN co-directors. Under their past leadership, ISEN brought together the strengths of the entire University to catalyze the development of transformational science, technology, education, and policy in the area of energy and sustainability. ISEN will continue to foster and build partnerships between Northwestern and the global energy and sustainability community.

Wasielewski joined the faculty of Northwestern in 1994, where he is currently a professor of chemistry. He served as chair of the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern from 2001-2004. He continues his role as director of the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center and of the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI). He also holds an appointment as senior scientist in the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne.

ANSER and SOFI as well as the Non-Equilibrium Energy Research Center (NERC), and the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) will remain under the ISEN umbrella.

Wasielewski received his bachelor of science (1971) and PhD (1975) degrees from the University of Chicago. Following his graduate work, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. He then moved to the Argonne National Laboratory, where he rose through the ranks to become senior scientist and group leader of the Molecular Photonics Group.

- This article was written by Joan Naper, director of research communications in the Office for Research. It originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Northwestern Research Newsletter.