Jefferson W. Tester, the Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, director of the Cornell Energy Institute and associate director for energy in the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, was honored with the Geothermal Special Achievement Award from the Geothermal Resources Council Oct. 26 in San Diego.
Tester was cited for his "outstanding contributions to the development of geothermal resources" over more than three decades. His most noteworthy contributions are pioneering work on many aspects of enhanced/engineered geothermal systems, including thermal energy conversion and utilization, tracer methods for characterizing reservoir thermal hydraulic behavior and geothermal systems analysis.
Tester began his career in geothermal technology as a member of the Los Alamos Hot Dry Rock project in the 1970s and 1980s and as a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1990s, and he continues his initiatives in advanced drilling methods and geothermal resource assessment and applications for combined heat and power. He chaired the 18-member international panel that evaluated the long-term geothermal potential of the United States and, in 2006, produced a major report, "The Future of Geothermal Energy."
From 2009 to 2011, Tester served as the U.S. representative for geothermal energy to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group evaluating the global potential of renewable energy. He was a member of the 1997 Energy R&D Panel of President Clinton's Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology.
Tester has published extensively in the energy field, co-authoring more than 210 research papers and 10 books, including two monographs on geothermal energy technology and a popular energy textbook, "Sustainable Energy -- Choosing Among Options."