Anna Stefanopoulou, a mechanical engineer with an expertise in modeling, control and optimization of internal combustion engines, batteries and fuel cells, will become director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute.
Her five-year appointment begins Sept. 1.
“I am very excited for this opportunity to lead an institute with such a strong reputation for solving energy challenges through the integration of social sciences, technology and policy,” said Stefanopoulou, the William Clay Ford Professor of Manufacturing, and professor of mechanical engineering, and of electrical engineering and computer science.
As director, Stefanopoulou will develop a strategic vision for the institute, which she and fellow faculty helped launch in 2006.
She also will facilitate and support faculty research and engagement opportunities across campus in all areas related to energy. More than 130 faculty members across 19 disciplines are affiliated with the institute, which hosts an array of innovative laboratories and user facilities, including the Battery Lab.
“Generating, distributing and utilizing energy has been a broad, complex and pressing problem for humanity throughout history, so it’s important for us to work across disciplines in order to develop cutting-edge technology and integrate them in comprehensive solutions,” Stefanopoulou said.
“I will put in a lot of energy to enable our faculty and students to achieve high visibility, educate policymakers and impact the world around us. The institute operates somewhat like an incubator where collaborative teams can come together to share new ideas, start cross-cutting initiatives and set priorities in addressing pressing energy challenges.”
Prior to her appointment at the Energy Institute, Stefanopoulou served as director of the Automotive Research Center, a multi-university U.S. Army Center of Excellence in Modeling and Simulation of Ground Vehicles led by U-M.
Stefanopoulou joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2000 after working at the University of California, Santa Barbara and in the automotive industry, where she developed algorithms and calibrations for highly efficient and advanced powertrains.
She earned three degrees from U-M: a master’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science. Her multidisciplinary work and leadership have been recognized by three of the largest engineering societies with the fellow distinction.
Stefanopoulou also has co-authored influential reports on the cost effectiveness of fuel-efficient technologies for light-duty vehicles, sponsored by the National Research Council, to help inform policymakers.
“There are a number of energy-related challenges that we as a society will face in the coming years, and the Energy Institute is well-positioned to identify solutions to those important issues,” said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research. “With a strong background in collaborative research and her distinguished record of service to the campus community, I am confident Dr. Stefanopoulou will elevate the Energy Institute’s reputation as a leader in energy research.”
Stefanopoulou succeeds Mark Barteau, who served as director of the Energy Institute from 2012 through early 2018, and Bart Bartlett, associate director of science and technology at the institute, who served as interim director.