USNCCM-11 Banquet Speaker, Dr. Steven E. Koonin, Undersecretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
We are pleased to confirm that Undersecretary for Science in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Dr. Steven E. Koonin will be the banquet speaker at the 11th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics.
Under Secretary Koonin joined the Caltech faculty in 1975, was a research fellow at the Neils Bohr Institute during 1976 - 1977, and was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow during 1977 - 1979. He became a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Faculty from 1989 - 1991. As the seventh provost of Caltech from 1995-2004, Dr. Koonin was involved in identifying and recruiting about 1/3 of the Institute's professorial faculty and left an enduring legacy of academic and research initiatives in the biological, physical, earth, and social sciences.
As the Chief Scientist at BP between 2004 and early 2009, Dr. Koonin developed the long-range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources. He also played a central role in establishing the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Koonin has served on numerous advisory committees for the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense, including the Defense Science Board and the CNO's Executive Panel. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former member of the Trilateral Commission.
In 1985, Dr. Koonin received the Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award and, in 1998 the Department of Energy's E. O. Lawrence Award for " his broad impact on nuclear many-body physics, on astrophysics, and on a variety of related fields where sophisticated numerical methods are essential; and in particular, for his breakthrough in nuclear shell model calculations centered on an ingenious method for dealing ,with the huge matrices of heavy nuclei by using path integral methods combined with the Monte Carlo technique." He was elected to membership in the US National Academy of Sciences in 2010.
Dr. Koonin's research interests have included nuclear astrophysics; theoretical nuclear, computational, and many-body physics; and global environmental science. He has been involved in scientific computing throughout his career and is a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternate fuel sources. His academic research in computational and nuclear physics has impacted the direction of science both nationally and internationally. He has supervised more than 25 PhD students, produced more than 200 peer-reviewed research publications, and authored or edited 3 books, including a pioneering textbook on Computational Physics in 1985.
Dr. Koonin received his B.S. in Physics from Caltech in 1972, worked as a summer graduate student at Los Alamos from 1972-1975 and received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1975.