Tim Donohue named interim director of the Wisconsin Energy Institute
By Krista Eastman
Tim Donohue, director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) and UW Foundation Chairman Fetzer-Bascom Professor in bacteriology, will serve as the new interim director of the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI).
WEI is the collaborative home of energy research and education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as the administrative home of cross-campus programs such as the GLBRC. WEI supports more than 150 energy researchers with expertise in electricity systems, transportation and fuels, bio-based products, sustainability, and the societal impacts of energy.
“I’m excited to lead WEI in its efforts to solve what are arguably the most pressing energy issues of our time,” says Donohue. “I’m also proud to be a part of a multi-disciplinary center working to bring cost-effective, energy-saving, and sustainable innovations to Wisconsin and beyond. WEI is helping to realize the Wisconsin Idea, and I’m excited to play a new and important part in that effort.”
Having served as director of GLBRC since its inception in 2007, Donohue brings a wealth of administrative expertise and knowledge about energy research both on and off campus to the position. The GLBRC has received roughly $267 million in DOE funding and was recently selected for an additional five years of funding.
WEI is helping to realize the Wisconsin Idea, and I’m excited to play a new and important part in that effort.
“We are grateful to Professor Donohue for taking on this important position in addition to his directorship of the GLBRC,” says Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “He has been with WEI since its earliest days, and he has first-hand knowledge of WEI’s ability to facilitate groundbreaking work on the major energy challenges facing Wisconsin and the country.”
Donohue is succeeding outgoing interim director Ian Coxhead, professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, whose interim directorship ended in August.
Going forward, Donohue and team will also work with Steve Ackerman, associate vice chancellor in the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE), to move WEI’s administrative home to the VCRGE from the College of Engineering. Moving to the VCRGE will enable WEI to better accomplish its mission of facilitating cross-disciplinary research at UW–Madison.
Marsha Mailick, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s founding vice chancellor for research and graduate education, announced Thursday that she will step down from her post to return to the faculty. Mailick, who has been on temporary leave since January, will continue her research on developmental disabilities at the Waisman Center. Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Norman Drinkwater will continue in the role until a successor is appointed.
The Greenland Ice Sheet is melting, discharging hundreds of billions of tons of water into the ocean each year. Sea levels are steadily rising. To better understand and anticipate changes in sea level rise, scientists have sought to quantify how much snow falls on the ice sheet in any given year, and where, since snow is the primary source of the ice sheet's mass. This has proven to be a challenging problem. However, a new study from a team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center scientist, Claire Pettersen, describes a unique method involving cloud characteristics that could help answer some big questions about the Greenland Ice Sheet and its snowfall. The study is published today [April 9, 2018] in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Qiang Chang, a longstanding member of the Waisman Center’s leadership team, has been named the new director of the Waisman Center, following a nationwide search. Chang will begin the position as director on July 1 and report to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.
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