Devinder Mahajan, a professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department and co-director of the Chemical and Molecular Engineering Program at Stony Brook University who holds a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been named a 2011-2012 Jefferson Science Fellow, an honor given to only 13 individuals this year and 66 since its inception in 2003. He is the first Jefferson Science Fellow recipient from Stony Brook University.
The Jefferson Science Fellowship, named after Thomas Jefferson, is a prestigious program that brings tenured professors of science and engineering to the State Department for one year to advise officials on science issues related to current and emerging policy. Mahajan is currently serving his fellowship in the U.S. Department of State Bureau for Energy Resources in Washington, DC. This new bureau is the result of the Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review initially announced by Secretary Clinton during her speech to the Economic Club in New York on October 14, 2011. After the fellowship is complete, he will remain on call for five years as a science advisor and expert resource to the State Department.
“The Jefferson Science Fellowship is a great honor that reflects the quality of Devinder’s research, discovery, and scholarship,” said Stony brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “On behalf of Stony Brook University, it is extremely gratifying that our faculty are summoned to our nation’s Capital to serve their country in this type of capacity. I am sure Devinder will be a tremendous resource to the State Department.”
Mahajan’s research interests focus on energy issues. His vision is to develop low-carbon energy technologies that will lead to commercialization for the benefit of society and to train students in the next generation of renewable technologies.
“My research started in oil and gas and then slowly transformed into issues related to renewables. I am fortunate that both Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, with its diversified research portfolio, have nurtured my career in energy, specifically focused on technologies,” said Mahajan. “This experience is very valuable to understand the policy issues that will form the basis of U.S. energy policy as the Department promotes Secretary Clinton’s Economic Statecraft. More importantly, it is gratifying to be at the State Department as this transformation is taking place. The ‘policymaking’ process is complex, but I hope to learn the culture of the Department that is very different from the academics.”