University of Delaware
Mark Barteau

Farewell, Mark

Barteau to depart UD for energy post at University of Michigan


9:01 a.m., July 17, 2012--After a distinguished 30-year career at the University of Delaware, Mark Barteau, senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives, has announced his retirement. 

But the dynamic administrator and chemical engineer isn’t slowing down. Barteau has been appointed the inaugural holder of the DTE Energy Professorship of Advanced Energy Research, professor of chemical engineering and director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute. He will take the helm at the institute on Sept. 1. 

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“I doubt there's another person at UD who’s had a greater impact on our work than Mark,” said President Patrick Harker. “He’s set the highest standards for academic performance since his arrival at UD in 1982, and his leadership of the Research Office has stimulated unprecedented growth in external funding. No matter what he was asked to do — co-lead the development of our Path to Prominence, launch the Office of Federal Relations, offer guidance on issues central to our future plans and ambitions — he did it with a singular focus on excellence.”

“It was a privilege to co-lead the development of UD’s current strategic plan with Mark,” noted Debra Hess Norris, Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts. “Mark always strives for perfection, and I am repeatedly inspired by his very hard work, commitment and wide-ranging professional accomplishments.”

“I am deeply indebted to the University of Delaware for all the opportunities it has provided me, and to wonderful colleagues in my department and across the institution who have made my career here so rich and enjoyable,” Barteau said. “The trajectory of UD as a major research university has been firmly established under Pat Harker’s leadership, and I am honored to have played a small role in that. I am looking forward to new challenges at the University of Michigan, and to trying to make an impact on the grand challenge of our time: energy and the global consequences of our energy choices.”

Expanding UD’s research enterprise 

Barteau joined the UD faculty in 1982 after earning a bachelor’s degree at Washington University in St. Louis and master’s and doctoral degrees at Stanford University — all in chemical engineering.

The Robert L. Pigford Chair of Chemical Engineering and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UD, he was named senior vice provost for research and strategic initiatives in 2008 and worked closely in that role with the deans, faculty and staff to increase the visibility of the University’s research and scholarship nationally and internationally. 

As the University’s chief research administrator, Barteau reorganized the Research Office to expand support and training to faculty, students and research administrators in proposal development, grants management, research ethics and compliance. He created a new research development unit within the office, as well as established the University’s Federal Relations Office in Washington, D.C., and worked in collaboration with the Office of Communications and Marketing to launch UD Research, an award-winning semi-annual magazine.

Since 2009, federal support for UD’s path-breaking research has increased by more than one-third, and the University has been ranked for the first time in the top 100 institutions in the United States in federal obligations for science and engineering.

Barteau is the founding director of the University of Delaware Energy Institute, whose mission is to advance the science, development and deployment of new and emerging energy technologies. He also chaired the Environmental Footprint task force for the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council for the preparation of the 2009 five-year energy plan for the state of Delaware and served on the State Science and Technology Council.  

Barteau also led the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology as its director, and he served as chairperson of the top-10 ranked Department of Chemical Engineering for an extended term from 2000 to 2007. 

An award-winning career at UD

A respected researcher and inventor, Barteau was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006, cited for advancing the fundamental understanding of surface chemical reaction mechanisms and for the design and invention of new catalysts. In 2008, he was named one of the “100 Engineers of the Modern Era” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). 

He has written more than 200 publications and has presented a similar number of invited lectures on chemical reactions at solid surfaces and their applications in heterogeneous catalysis and energy processes. 

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and NASA. He has carried out research and consulting work with DuPont, Dow, BASF, Hercules, Atofina, Union Camp, W. L. Gore and Sasol.

Barteau has received numerous awards, including the Francis Alison Award, the University of Delaware’s highest faculty honor, in 2004; the 2001 Alpha Chi Sigma Award and the 1991 Allan P. Colburn Award, presented by AIChE; the 1998 International Catalysis Award, from the International Association of Catalysis Societies; the 1995 Ipatieff Prize from the American Chemical Society; the Paul H. Emmett Award in Fundamental Catalysis, given by the North American Catalysis Society, and the 1993 Canadian Catalysis Lecture Tour Award of the Catalysis Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada. 

He has served as associate editor of the AIChE Journal, and on the editorial boards of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research and the Journal of Catalysis. He chaired the Council of Chemical Sciences for the Department of Energy Office of Science and has served on the Governing Board of the Council for Chemical Research, an organization promoting collaborative research among academia, industry and government laboratories. 

Currently, Barteau co-chairs the National Research Council’s Chemical Sciences Roundtable, a forum of leaders that discusses issues ranging from green chemistry, to high school chemistry education and research teams and partnerships. He also serves on science advisory boards for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Lab and for the National Institute of Clean-and Low-Carbon Energy (NICE) in China.

“Mark’s intellect and accomplishments are greatly admired across the UD campus and beyond,” said Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse. “In addition to managing the University’s diverse research portfolio and representing UD on state to international levels, he has been a superb scholar, conducting research and developing scientific inventions, as well as teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. We wish him all the best in the next phase of his career.”

According to Brickhouse, plans to fill the position will be announced in the next few weeks after input is sought from the Research Office, deans and research institutes, and other stakeholders.

About the University of Michigan Energy Institute

The University of Michigan Energy Institute, established in 2006, seeks to chart the path to a clean, affordable and sustainable energy future by applying public policy, economics, business and the social sciences to lay the foundation for successful implementation of scientific and technological achievements. It builds on the legacy of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project, which was launched in 1948 to engage in research and other activities that support the peaceful uses of atomic energy as a “living memorial” for the members of the University of Michigan community who gave their lives in World War II. 


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