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Photo by: UCSD
Cliff Kubiak, UCSD's FAR since 2007, has done his most significant work in the field of renewable energy.
UCSD’s Cliff Kubiak To Lead Team In Quest To Turn Sunlight Into Fuel
Release: Thursday 07/29/2010 
by UCSD
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
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