Skip to Content
77 Mass Ave

Moniz Nominated as Energy Secretary

Director of MIT Energy Initiative would replace Steven Chu in cabinet post

In March, President Obama nominated MIT’s Ernest J. Moniz, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, to head the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ernest J. Moniz
Ernest Moniz: Obama’s pick to lead the DOE.

Moniz, a member of the MIT faculty since 1973, has directed the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) since its creation in 2006. His principal research contributions have been in theoretical nuclear physics and in energy technology and policy studies.

MIT president L. Rafael Reif said, “We have been fortunate that Professor Moniz has put his enthusiasm, deep understanding of energy, and commitment to a clean energy future to work for MIT and the Energy Initiative—and we are certain he will do the same for the American people.”

Under Moniz’s stewardship, MITEI has supported almost 800 research projects at the Institute. Twenty-three industry and public partners support its research and analysis, and it has engaged 25 percent of the MIT faculty in its projects and programs. MITEI has funded research projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency, carbon management, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

MITEI-supported research has led to low-cost solar cells that can be printed directly onto paper or other flexible, inexpensive materials; utility-scale liquid batteries that should make it easier for power grids to integrate intermittent energy sources, such as renewables; transparent solar cells that could be built into display screens or windows; and bioengineered batteries.

Moniz served as the U.S. undersecretary of energy from 1997 to 2001. The DOE runs 17 national laboratories, has more than 16,000 federal employees, and had a budget of more than $29 billion in 2012. It is the nation’s largest funder of research in the physical sciences.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station
Workers disinfect the street outside Shijiazhuang Railway Station

Why China is still obsessed with disinfecting everything

Most public health bodies dealing with covid have long since moved on from the idea of surface transmission. China’s didn’t—and that helps it control the narrative about the disease’s origins and danger.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.