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Introducing ISEN's Directors

ISEN enjoys the strong leadership of an Executive Director and four faculty co-directors responsible for ISEN's research, education and outreach mission pillars. We are pleased to introduce them to you:

Michael R. Wasielewski

Michael Wasielweski Michael R. Wasielewski, the Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry, became ISEN's Executive Director on Oct. 1, 2013. He is also the Director of the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center and the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI). He holds an appointment as Senior Scientist in the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory and served as Chair of the Chemistry Department at Northwestern from 2001-2004.

Prof. Wasielewski's research centers on light-driven charge transfer and transport in molecules and materials, photosynthesis, nanoscale materials for solar energy conversion, spin dynamics of multi-spin molecules, molecular materials for optoelectronics and spintronics, and time-resolved optical and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. He earned his Bachelor of Science (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) degrees from the University of Chicago. Following his graduate work, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University and a Senior Scientist and Group Leader of the Molecular Photonics Group at Argonne. He joined the Chemistry Department faculty of Northwestern University in 1994.

Yip-Wah Chung

Yip-Wah ChungYip-Wah Chung is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. His research focuses on surface science, thin films, tribology, alloy design, advanced lubricants for improved vehicle efficiency, and high throughput materials synthesis. Chung obtained his BS (physics and mathematics) and MPhil (physics) from the University of Hong Kong and PhD (physics) from the University of California at Berkeley. He then joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in 1977. Chung served as Director of the Center for Engineering Tribology at Northwestern from 1987 to 1992, and as Department Chair from 1992 to 1998. He was named Fellow, ASM International; Fellow, AVS; Fellow, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers; Fellow, Japan Society for Promotion of Science. His other awards include Innovative Research Award and Best Paper Awards from the ASME Tribology Division, Technical Achievement Award from the National Storage Industry Consortium, and Bronze Bauhinia Star Medal from the Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region Government. He served as program officer in surface engineering and materials design in the NSF Civil and Mechanical Systems Division and as division representative for the nanoscience and engineering initiative from 2003 to 2005. Chung is now the lead faculty member for ISEN 220 (Introduction to 21st Century Energy Systems) that is offered each winter quarter. His other activities include being advisory profesor of Fudan University, visiting scientist of Austrian Center of Competence in Tribology and certificated commerical pilot and flight instructor.

Kenneth Poeppelmeier

Ken Poeppelmeier

Kenneth Poeppelmeier, the Charles E. & Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Catalysis and Surface Science at Northwestern (CCSS), became an ISEN Co-Director in 2014 when CCSS became an ISEN-affiliated center of research excellence. Professor Poeppelmeier’s research focuses on the energy-related applications of inorganic solid-state chemistry and ranges from the growth of single crystals to the synthesis of new transparent conductors. Applications of his research include heterogeneous catalysis and solar energy.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 1971. From 1971 to 1974 he was an Instructor in Chemistry at Samoa College in Western Samoa as a United States Peace Corps volunteer. Upon returning form the Peace Corps, he joined the research group of John Corbett at Iowa State University and received his Ph.D. in 1978. He then joined the staff of Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Corporate Research Science Laboratory where he worked on the synthesis and characterization of mixed metal oxides and their application in heterogeneous catalysis.

Professor Poeppelmeier joined the chemistry faculty of Northwestern University in 1984. He is an active member several interdisciplinary research efforts including the Institute for Atom-efficient Chemical Transformations, the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center, and the Center for Inverse Design. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and has been a lecturer for the National Science Council of Taiwan, Natural Science Foundation of China, Institut Universitaire de France, and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He was recently awarded a Visiting Professorship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Mark Ratner

Mark RatnerMark Ratner is a materials chemist, whose work focuses on the interplay between molecular structure and molecular properties. This includes such aspects as molecular electronics, molecular optoelectronics, molecular systems design and biomolecular behavior, as well quantum and classical methodologies for understanding and predicting molecular structure and response. The major focus of his research for the last three decades has been the understanding of charge transfer and charge transport processes based on molecular structures, ranging from nonadiabatic intramolecular behavior to aspects of molecular devices, including photovoltaics, conductive polymers, molecular transport junctions and molecular switches. 

His professional history involves undergraduate work at Harvard, graduate work at Northwestern, postdoctoral work at Aarhus and Munich, and faculty positions at New York University and Northwestern. He is now Dumas University Professor at Northwestern and Co-Director of ISEN. He has very active international collaborations, particularly in Denmark, Israel and the Netherlands. He has been awarded the Feynman Prize, the Langmuir Award of the American Chemical Society, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and enjoys an annual canoe trip which puts all things back into perspective.

Bradley Sageman

Brad SagemanBrad Sageman directs ISEN's education development and curricular processes. Brad also chairs the ISEN Curriculum Committee and oversees the ISEN Cluster program, the development of an ISEN certificate program, the hiring of ISEN faculty and approval of ISEN courses.

Brad is an earth scientist with research interests in carbon cycling, climate change, and sustainable energy. His research, which has its foundation in understanding the relationship between geologic time and the accumulation of sedimentary rocks, is relevant to both the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (especially shale gas, a critical transition fuel to a low-carbon future), as well as the role of the carbon cycle as a natural source and sink of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Brad earned a B.S. in Biology from Denison University and completed his graduate work in Geological Science at the University of Colorado. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship during his graduate years, and joined the Northwestern faculty in 1992. In 1997 he was awarded the DuPont Young Professor award for research relating to unconventional hydrocarbon resources (gas shales), and in 2006 was elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA). In October of 2011, Brad chaired a NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) workshop on Carbon Sequestration at the annual GSA meeting. He is a Professor and currently in his 7th year as Department Chair of Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He is also the lead faculty member for ISEN 230 Climate Change and Sustainability: Political and Ethical Dimensions, an ISEN course offered each spring.



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