LA JOLLA, Calif. - Clifford P. Kubiak, a
Professor of Chemistry at UC San Diego and the athletic department's Faculty
Athletic Representative for the past three years, will lead UCSD's
collaboration with other institutions in an effort to produce energy from
sunlight, it was announced recently.
Kubiak will head a team of scientists from Cal Tech, UC Berkeley and UCSD to
develop the best molecular catalysts for splitting water into hydrogen fuel and
oxygen, and for reducing carbon dioxide to liquid fuels.
The U.S. Department of Energy has rewarded a $122 million, five-year grant for
the project, which will establish the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) as part of an
Energy Innovation Hub designed to accomplish breakthrough innovations in energy
production. According to the DOE, the specific goal of the center is to develop
an integrated solar-energy-to-chemical-fuel conversion system and to turn
discoveries into transportation fuels and other commercial products.
The DOE-funded hubs are large collaborative teams of scientists and engineers
working to reach specific high-priority goals. The Fuels from Sunlight Energy
Innovation Hub is one of three new hubs receiving funding.
UC San Diego will partner in JCAP with the California Institute of Technology
and the DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, members of which will
serve as the project's leaders.
"This is a huge opportunity to put some of the best scientists in the nation on
one of the largest challenges confronting our planet -- to direct renewable
energy from the sun toward the production of the sources of energy we need to
sustain our society, economy and national security," Kubiak told UCSD's Paul
Mueller in an interview last week.
"Technically, the scale and
scope of the JCAP will provide the research platform to integrate the catalysts
developed at UC San Diego with the solar-light collection, charge separation,
and membrane technologies that together will comprise the solar fuels
generators of the future," Kubiak continued.
A graduate from Brown University with a Ph.D from the University of Rochester, Kubiak
has been a faculty member at UCSD since 1998. He served as the Department of
Chemistry and Biochemistry Chair from 2002-06.
As UCSD's faculty athletic rep, Kubiak serves as the primary liaison between
the athletic program and the university faculty. He is a member of the
California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Executive Committee and
serves on the conference's eligibility committee.
Information in this release courtesy of
Paul K, Mueller, UCSD Communications