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KNOXVILLE—Steven Koonin, undersecretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy, will address U.S. energy challenges, such as energy security, US competitiveness, and environmental impacts, during a visit to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on May 3.

Steven Koonin, undersecretary for science at the U.S. Department of EnergyKoonin, who took his current post in May 2009, will speak at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, 1640 Cumberland Avenue. The lecture will be webcast at

He also will discuss the DOE’s Quadrennial Technology Review (, which is designed to put energy challenges and security issues into context and provide a framework for the department’s energy programs.

As the chief scientist at BP between 2004 and early 2009, Koonin developed the company’s long‐range technology strategy for alternative and renewable energy sources and played a central role in establishing the Energy Biosciences Institute.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. Koonin has been involved in scientific computing throughout his career and is a strong advocate for research into renewable energies and alternate fuel sources.

Koonin received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1972 and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1975 and served as the seventh provost of Caltech from 1995 to 2004.

The event is free and open to the public.


Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034,