Expanding Energy Exploration

June 1, 2013

A $2 million gift from David Elliman, C’73, WG’77, and Dr. Andrea Branch through the BAWD Foundation will enable SAS to jumpstart its effort to attract three new faculty members to Penn.  The funds will provide startup support for faculty specializing in ways to bring renewable energy sources to market. Over the next three years, SAS basic science departments, including Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, and Biology, will join together to conduct multi-disciplinary searches centered on this theme, which will help solidify Penn’s role as a leader in energy research.  

“Few areas of scholarship are as crucial to our global future as energy research,” says Dean Rebecca Bushnell. “The scholars recruited with the help of the Elliman Fund will bolster our promising energy initiatives with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, like the Penn Center for Energy Innovation (Pennergy) and the new Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), increasing our momentum in this vital area of study.”

Elliman’s own interest in energy innovation and appreciation for scientific research led to this incredible gift.  “After meeting with current Penn faculty engaged in energy research and teaching I came away convinced that this ‘cluster hire’ approach will allow the School to build on existing strengths by attracting new faculty who are doing cutting-edge energy research,” he says.

Elliman earned a B.A. in Biology from the College, then received an M.S. in cell biology from the University of California at Irvine and an M.B.A. from Wharton. He is founding principal of the Elmrock Group of companies. He serves as a member of the board at The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and is a trustee of The Jackson Laboratory and a director of Great Western Oil and Gas Company.  He served as an Overseer for the School from 1998 to 2007 and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management.  Andrea D. Branch, Ph.D., is Professor of Medicine and Associate Professor of Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, where she specializes in diseases of the liver. They are the parents of Dascher Branch-Elliman, C’12.