“We are delighted that Dr. Petri will join the Iowa Energy Center and lead its important mission and activities related to energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Joe Colletti, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences senior associate dean and co-chair of the search committee. “He brings tremendous experience and talent to the center. Under his leadership we look forward to continued and expanded success and impact from the Iowa Energy Center for the benefit of all Iowans.”
Since 2008, Petri has been the technology development director with the laboratory’s Energy Engineering and Systems Analysis Directorate, where he coordinated a $40 million portfolio of multidisciplinary applied and basic research programs aimed at sustainable energy production, transmission and efficiency.
Petri also taught courses on energy policy and energy technology entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He led students through an energy curriculum in Hangzhou, China, this past summer as the field director for Northwestern’s Wanxiang Fellows Program in green technology and environmental sustainability.
He joined Argonne in 1989 as a metallurgical engineer and provided leadership to several teams and programs at Argonne over the years, including assisting the Department of Energy’s nuclear plant safety evaluation program to improve the safety of Soviet-designed nuclear power plants in Eastern Europe.
He began working on emerging energy technology for Argonne in 2006, leading the laboratory’s efforts on alternative energy and efficiency. In 2007 he accepted a year-long appointment to provide technical assessments and policy recommendations for a wide range of energy, environmental and science issues for Sen. Richard Durbin as his science and technology advisor.
Prior to joining the Argonne National Laboratory, Petri worked as a materials engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, N.Y., and as an instrumentation and controls engineer at Combustion Engineering, Inc., in Windsor, Conn.
Petri has a B.S. and an M.S. in nuclear engineering, and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, all from Purdue University. He was named a Purdue University “Outstanding Materials Engineer” in 2010.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” said Petri. “The Iowa Energy Center is an ideal place to translate energy efficiency and production breakthroughs into actual public benefit. I look forward to working with the center team to promote further regional growth in energy and environmental education and job creation.”
The Iowa Energy Center was created by the Iowa General Assembly and is administered through Iowa State University. The center’s mission is to advance Iowa’s energy efficiency and renewable energy use. The center’s core annual funding comes from an assessment on the intrastate revenues of Iowa’s gas and electric utilities and is used to fund Iowa-focused energy research, information and outreach.
Former director Kevin Nordmeyer left in December 2011 to join BNIM, an architecture firm focused on sustainable and regenerative design. Chitra Rajan, associate vice president for research at Iowa State, has served as interim director.
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