The LSU Office of Research & Economic Development will host William Brinkman, director of the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, on Thursday, Feb. 7. Brinkman will give a public lecture on energy sustainability and the future direction of the DOE Office of Science at 8:30 a.m. in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building on Nicholson Extension. Parking is available, and the public is welcome to attend this free event.
Throughout the course of his visit, Brinkman will meet with LSU faculty and students to discuss their research and its implications.
“Bringing such high-level government officials to consult with our faculty is a great opportunity for LSU, and another example of how we are always striving to keep our research current with the needs of our country,” said Thomas Klei, interim vice chancellor for the Office of Research & Economic Development. “Dr. Brinkman will be able to provide some insight into the direction of energy research for the future, and we, in turn, can make sure that our goals as a university are compatible.”
Brinkman was confirmed by the Senate on June 19, 2009, and sworn in on June 30, 2009, as the Director of the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy. He joined the Office of Science at a crucial point in the nation’s history as the country strives toward energy security – a key mission area of the DOE.
“One must be careful to distinguish innovation from discovery. You can only manage discovery by setting direction and hiring people to work in that direction with the hope of great discoveries,” said Brinkman. “Innovation, the process of taking a discovery or idea to the market, is something that must be managed carefully, and we work hard to do this.”
Brinkman brings decades of experience in managing scientific research in government, academia and the private sector to the post. He has served as vice president of research in Bell Laboratories, vice president of research at DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories, president of the American Physical Society and most recently as senior research physicist in the Physics Department at Princeton University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and began his academic career on a football scholarship at the University of Missouri, where he received his Ph.D.