Dr. Michael Webber, a well-known energy researcher and teacher, has been appointed to serve as deputy director of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin effective April 1, 2013.
Former deputy director Charles E. Cooke has resigned and will rejoin the EOP Group, a Washington, D.C., government relations firm that represents Fortune 500 companies on Executive Branch issues at the federal and state levels.
Webber, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, also is the Josey Centennial Fellow in Energy Resources, and serves as Co-Director of the Clean Energy Incubator and Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy.
As deputy director at the Energy Institute, Webber will offer his insights on how emerging technologies and innovative energy systems are reshaping the energy landscape. Known for his candid views on the interplay of politics and public policy at the state, national and global levels, Webber will help shape the direction of the institute.
Webber is an originator of Pecan Street Inc., a public-private partnership that engages in research and promotes smart grid innovation and deployment. He also he sits on the board of advisers for Scientific American. Previously, Webber studied at the RAND Corporation and was a Senior Scientist at Pranalytica, where he invented sensors for homeland security, industrial analysis and environmental monitoring. He holds four patents and has authored more than 150 publications.
The University of Texas at Austin is committed to transparency and disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. Michael Webber has received funding for research from various private and public sources including the National Science Foundation, Pecan Street Inc., the Energy Foundation, and the American Chemistry Council. He has received compensation from Rockland Capital, SIT Investment Associates and Teijin Aramid.
Webber has a B.A. and B.S. with High Honors from UT Austin. Last year he was honored with the Regents Outstanding Teaching Award. He has an M.S. and Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) from Stanford.