Expanding Energy Exploration

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.

Arts & Sciences News

Mary Frances Berry Discusses Her New Book “History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times”

In it, she shares her memories of being a protestor, provides an analysis of protest strategies, and highlights lessons from a lengthy history of fighting against injustice.

View Article >
Greening Vacant Lots Reduces Depression in City Dwellers

Revitalizing dilapidated environments may be an important, inexpensive tool to address mental health in urban communities.

View Article >
Martha Farah Elected to Prestigious British Academy Fellowship

Martha Farah has been made a Fellow of the prestigious British Academy for the humanities and social sciences.

View Article >
A Physics Treasure Hidden in the Pattern of Wallpaper

A newly identified insulating material could one day enable more-efficient electronics or even quantum computing.

View Article >
Matthews Named Scialog Fellow

Scialog supports cohorts of early-career scientists addressing globally significant challenges.

View Article >
Understanding the Social Dynamics That Cause Cooperation to Thrive, or Fail

Biologist Erol Akçay shows how certain types of social networks can paradoxically lead to cooperation’s collapse.

View Article >