Carnegie Mellon University's Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation(opens in new window) announced today that Anna J. Siefken(opens in new window) will take a leave of absence from her position as executive director to join the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Technology Transitions(opens in new window) (OTT) as a commercialization executive.
OTT serves as the central hub for the technology transfer activities across the Department of Energy's extensive research and development enterprise. The office ensures groundbreaking scientific discoveries achieve their maximum public return and impact, advancing the economic, energy and national security interests of the United States.
"Thank you to my amazing colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University and CMU Scott Institute for Energy Innovation for the opportunity to expand our collective research and innovation work via this important cross-cutting role, driving toward a more sustainable, low-carbon energy future. There is much to do," Siefken said.
As the inaugural executive director, Siefken's 5.5 years with the Scott Institute has guided efforts to optimize energy resources, reduce the environmental impacts of energy production and use, and develop breakthrough technologies that will have meaningful impact and accelerate the transition to a sustainable future through programming, targeted outreach, mentoring and partnerships. In 2020, the American Energy Society recognized the Scott Institute among universities as one of the "Top Ten Energy Elites" for the first time. Siefken's focus on moving energy and climate tech innovation from the research lab to market will continue with her role at the OTT with meaningful global impact.
Siefken co-created the University Energy Institute Collaborative(opens in new window) (UEIC) in 2019, which brought together a national network of leaders from more than 150 university-based energy institutes. The initiative has been featured in ScienceDirect. In addition to bringing new initiatives to CMU, Siefken spearheaded CMU Energy Week(opens in new window), one of the largest events on campus that draws more than 100 speakers and 1,000 participants, growing significantly each year since 2016.
Siefken has initiated engagements with dozens of organizations and has increased university partnerships with industry, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Governor's Office of Energy, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy. The Scott Institute has served as a Power Connector with the DOE's American-Made Solar Prize(opens in new window) since the program's inception. The Scott Institute has most recently partnered with OTT to host the inaugural national finals of the EnergyTech University Prize(opens in new window) (UP) competition as a part of CMU Energy Week 2022.
"Anna is an outstanding leader and collaborator, and I have no doubt she will flourish in this position," said Jay Whitacre(opens in new window), director of the Scott Institute. "I wish her all the best and look forward to her return to CMU."