President Biden on March 8 announced his intent to nominate Dr. Evelyn Wang as director of the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Project Agency for Energy (ARPA-E).

ARPA-E aims to promote and fund research and development of advanced energy technologies, and is built on the mode of the Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Wang is currently the Ford Professor of Engineering and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she served as director of Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center, one of DoE’s energy frontier research centers, and as a member of the Defense Science Study Group advocating for increased participation of academia in national defense.

“I am elated that President Biden has nominated Dr. Evelyn Wang to serve as director of DoE’s [ARPA-E]. Throughout [her] outstanding career, she has overseen groundbreaking research in heat-transfer technology that has advanced clean energy and clean water solutions,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a separate statement.

Wang’s research has combined heat and mass transport processes with nanoengineered materials to create innovative solutions for clean energy and water. She is a leading researcher in phase-change heat transfer, which she has applied to thermal management of electronics, thermal batteries, solar thermal energy conversion, water harvesting, and desalination devices.

“Having her experience and expertise at the helm of ARPA-E will help solidify DoE’s role as an engine of scientific innovation and a key player in the effort to address climate change,” said Granholm.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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