Aug. 10, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Johannes W. Schwank, the James and Judith Street Professor of Chemical Engineering in the University of Michigan College of Engineering, has been named interim director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute at the U-M effective Aug. 15, 2011.
Schwank earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Innsbruck, Austria in 1978 and his Diploma in chemistry there in 1975. He joined U-M as a Fulbright postdoctoral scholar in 1978, and has since served as chair of the U-M’s Chemical Engineering Department and as the associate director of the Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory. Over the years, he has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck, the Technical University in Vienna, and Tianjin University, China. As leader of The Schwank Group within Chemical Engineering, he directs the exploration of new solutions to the problems of energy production, storage, and utilization in the transportation, distributed generation, and chemical process sectors.
“Johannes Schwank’s reputation as a first-rate researcher and teacher make him the ideal leader to ensure continuity and a smooth transition at the Institute as we conduct a national search for a permanent director,” said Stephen R. Forrest, U-M Vice President for Research and the William Gould Dow Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “MMPEI is on a path for continued growth and change, and I am grateful that Professor Schwank has agreed to assume leadership at this important time. “
Schwank will supervise all aspects of the Energy Institute’s operations, including management of its energy research programs, public outreach, and planned expansion to a permanent facility on North Campus. The national search for a permanent director will commence this fall.
“I am inspired by the opportunity to lead MMPEI,” Schwank said. “I look forward to building on its great momentum and to help keep the University of Michigan at the forefront of multidisciplinary energy research and education.”
Schwank succeeds Dennis Assanis, the Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt Professor of Engineering, who recently announced his resignation as Director of the Institute to serve as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Stony Brook University and its vice president for Brookhaven Affairs.
“While we are sad to see the departure of our colleague and friend, Dennis Assanis, from U-M, we are delighted that he is moving on to be provost at Stony Brook University,” said Forrest. “In addition to being a top notch mechanical engineer with an international reputation, his expertise in energy science has led to the rapid growth and flourishing of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute at U-M.”
Launched in 2004, the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute develops, coordinates and promotes multidisciplinary energy research and education at U-M. The Institute works to promote a secure, affordable and sustainable energy future by applying the U-M’s teaching and research strengths in carbon neutral electricity sources, energy storage and utilization, transportation and fuels, as well as energy-related policy economics and societal impact.
Contact: Paul Gargaro, Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, 734-615-5678, email@example.com.