Jefferson W. Tester '66, M.S. '67, will hold the first Croll Professorship of Sustainable Energy Systems in the College of Engineering, pending approval by the Cornell Board of Trustees.
As the Croll professor, Tester is expected to play a leadership role in the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future (CCSF), which is bringing together experts in education and research from across campus to work toward common sustainability goals.
"The overall breadth and high quality of Cornell's academic programs and the university's commitment to sustainability on campus are most compelling and are the main impetus behind my desire to return to Cornell to be part of this exciting, challenging and vitally important new adventure," said Tester, who now is the H.P. Meissner Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-chair of an institutewide task force on energy education. Tester will join Cornell later this year.
Tester will be on campus March 28-29 for the 25th Annual College of Engineering Alumni Association Conference, where he will give a presentation on geothermal energy and its potential for becoming a major supplier of electrical power in the United States at 2:30 p.m., March 28, in Statler Hall's Beck Center Room 396.
At 10 a.m., March 29, he will join CCSF Director Francis DiSalvo, the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science, in the Statler Hall Ballroom to present an update on the sustainability center and then direct a discussion on Cornell's evolving opportunities in sustainable energy research and education.
Tester, who received his undergraduate and master's degrees in chemical engineering at Cornell, earned his Ph.D. from MIT in 1971. His research interests include renewable and geothermal energy systems, advanced drilling, hydrothermal reforming, upgrading of biomass and fossil fuels, clean chemical processing in supercritical fluids, and environmental remediation and control technology. He has co-authored more than 200 research papers and 10 books.
He served as director of MIT's Energy Laboratory from 1989 to 2001, program director of MIT's School of Chemical Engineering Practice from 1980 to 1989 and a group leader in the Geothermal Engineering Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1974 to 1980.
"Jeff Tester has been a leader in energy research and education for three decades," said Kent Fuchs, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering. "His addition to the Cornell faculty will enable us to establish pre-eminent excellence in sustainable energy systems."