David Allen Named Chair of the Institute for Sustainability

Headshot of Chemical Engerineering Professor David AllenDavid T. Allen, an expert in energy and the environment in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, is the new chair of the Institute for Sustainability (IfS), a technological community within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Allen, the Gertz Regents Professor of chemical engineering and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, succeeds Deborah Grubbe, owner and president of Operations and Safety Solutions, LLC, who served as IfS Chair from 2010–2014.

In announcing Allen’s appointment, Darlene Schuster, executive director of IfS, noted Allen’s recent work on urban air quality studies in Texas, and his development of materials for environmental and sustainability education, as credentials Allen brings to his role at IfS.

“The Institute for Sustainability and its partners will benefit from Dr. Allen’s first-hand experience in, and dedication to, studying and creating technological solutions for some of society’s grand challenges,” said Schuster. The Institute for Sustainability collaborates with industries, universities and governmental bodies to advance sustainability and sustainable development initiatives in areas including metrics, energy, clean air and water, and food production, among many projects.

Allen was a lead investigator for multiple air quality measurement studies, which have had a substantial impact on the direction of air quality policies. He has developed environmental educational materials for engineering curricula and for the University’s core curriculum, as well as engineering education materials for high school students.

The quality of his work has been recognized by the National Science Foundation (through the Presidential Young Investigator Award), the AT&T Foundation (through an Industrial Ecology Fellowship), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (through the Cecil Award for contributions to environmental engineering, the Research Excellence Award of the Sustainable Engineering Forum, and the Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education), the State of Texas (through the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award), and the Association of Environmental and Engineering Science Professors (through its Distinguished Lecturer Award). He has also received teaching awards from UT Austin and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Allen is the author of six books and has documented his work in more than 200 research papers, primarily in the areas of air quality and pollution prevention. He earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, with distinction, from Cornell University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He has held visiting faculty appointments at the California Institute of Technology; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

About IfS

The Institute for Sustainability (IfS) — a technological community within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) — promotes the societal, economic and environmental benefits of sustainable and green engineering. IfS serves the needs and influences the efforts of engineers and scientists in industry, academia, and government. For more information go to www.aiche.org/sustainability.

About AIChE

AIChE is a professional society of 50,000 chemical engineers in 100 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontiers of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org.


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