Building a balanced portfolio for energy production is not simply a matter of applying known science to large-scale engineering applications, according to George Whitesides, one of the world's leading engineering and science pioneers. Accomplishing useful processes at acceptable costs will be necessary to tackle the world's energy challenges.
Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University, will talk about energy-related science and technology at an MIT energy colloquium, "Opportunities for Long-Term Research Relevant to Energy," on Tuesday, May 1, at 4:15 p.m. in Wong Auditorium.
Whitesides, a member of the MIT faculty from 1963 to 1982, is a 1998 National Medal of Science winner renowned for bridging chemistry, biology, materials science and catalysis and using tools from the disparate fields to create novel solutions. His research group's work has influenced a variety of disciplines, including drug design, fuel cells, molecules that self-assemble into larger structures and mechanisms to fight infections by blocking bacteria and viruses from sticking to cells.
He joined the Harvard Department of Chemistry in 1982 and co-founded Cambridge, Mass.-based Genzyme around the same time. He has since co-founded several other biotechnology companies.