Media Advisory

DOE Under Secretary Johnson to discuss energy challenges at noon on Oct. 27

Contact: Robert Sanders, Media Relations
(510) 643-6998

26 October 2009

ATTENTION: Energy and environment writers, editors


"Energy Challenges Facing Our Nation And How DOE Is Addressing Them," a noon talk at the University of California, Berkeley, by Under Secretary Kristina M. Johnson of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).


12-1 p.m. TOMORROW, Tuesday, Oct. 27


290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building, UC Berkeley campus. See campus map.


Kristina Johnson, under secretary of energy, U.S. Department of Energy, and former provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University.


Johnson, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May, leads DOE initiatives that include energy efficiency, solar and wind power, geothermal energy, clean car technology and other forms of renewable energy, as well as fossil energy, nuclear energy and electricity delivery. Her visit to UC Berkeley comes as DOE is pushing for more research to address specific, critical challenges related to energy and climate change.

In April, for example, DOE Secretary Steven Chu announced $400 million in funding for ARPA-E, an office modeled after the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency, but aimed at cutting-edge energy research. UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering Arun Majumdar, former director of LBNL's Environmental Energy Technologies Division, was confirmed last week to head the ARPA-E, which today announced its first 37 projects, totaling $151 million. One of those grants, amounting to more than $1 million, was to fund collaborative research between UC Berkeley and Porifera Inc. of Hayward on carbon capture by nanotubes.

DOE is also working to make sure that the climate bills making their way through the Senate include funds for basic research.

Johnson is an electrical engineer with more than 129 U.S .and foreign patents or patents pending. Prior to her appointment as under secretary, Johnson was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. From 1994 to 1999, she directed the NSF/ERC for Optoelectronics Computing Systems Center at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, where she involved engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and psychologists in efforts to make computers faster and better connected. From 1999 to 2007, she served as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, where she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment.