Institute Realigns Leadership Roles with Expanding Research Portfolio





May 7, 2018 — The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) has announced that Madhu Khanna, ACES Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, will be iSEE’s new Associate Director for Research.

Baum Family Director Evan H. DeLucia, who had led the Institute’s research initiatives, recently took on the Director role for the new, $115 million Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), a collaborative effort between iSEE, the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, and 17 partner institutions that was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“Bringing CABBI into this campus, and our Institute, was a major boost to our University,” DeLucia said, “but taking on a DOE Bioenergy Research Center means that iSEE needed to expand its footprint so that all of its research initiatives are supported.”

DeLucia will concentrate his efforts on supporting all three parts of iSEE’s mission — research, education and outreach, and campus sustainability — by securing external funding from granting agencies and philanthropy. Khanna, formerly the iSEE Associate Director for Education and Outreach, now takes on the research role.

“Madhu has done a wonderful job with our education and outreach efforts. Our Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program, a campuswide minor, has surpassed 90 students in its third year, and our annual iSEE Congress continues to grow, with registration topping 400 people last fall,” DeLucia said. “I am confident in her abilities to bring similar successes to our research profile, as she has a prolific research portfolio.”

The new Associate Director for Education and Outreach will be English Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood, the Langan Professorial Scholar of Environmental Humanities of English. Wood recently started the new undergraduate Certificate in Environmental Writing program through iSEE, the Department of English, and the School of Earth, Society, and Environment — and he will continue to lead that effort along with editing the new Q Magazine, a student environmental publication.

“We are excited to have Gillen on board,” DeLucia said. “iSEE is even more interdisciplinary in its leadership with associate directors from three of the University’s largest colleges (Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences; Engineering; Liberal Arts and Sciences), and we will continue reaching campuswide in all aspects of our mission.”

Ximing Cai, the Lovell Endowed Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will remain the Associate Director for Campus Sustainability, a job he took on in Spring 2017. Cai’s initiatives include a new Campus as a Living Lab research program that ties campus sustainability projects and programs to research — and future external grant opportunities.

In other news, Cai’s predecessor, Chemistry Professor Ben McCall, recently was selected to be the first executive director of the University of Dayton’s Hanley Sustainability Institute.

— By Tony Mancuso, Communications and Public Affairs Director