Steven E. Koonin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Steven E. Koonin
Official portrait of Steven E. Koonin, former Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy
Official portrait of Steve Koonin
Director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, New York University
Assumed office
April 2012
2nd Under Secretary of Energy for Science
In office
May 2009 – November 2011
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Raymond L. Orbach
7th Provost of Caltech
In office
February 1995 – March 2004
Preceded by Paul C. Jennings
Succeeded by Edward Stolper (acting)
Personal details
Born Brooklyn, New York, United States
Spouse(s) Laurie Koonin
Children 3
Alma mater B.S., California Institute of Technology
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Steven E. Koonin is a theoretical physicist and Director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University.


Koonin received his Bachelor of Science from Caltech and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1] In 1975, Koonin joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology as a Professor of Theoretical Physics, including a 9-year term as the Institute's provost.[2] In 2004, Koonin joined BP plc serving as their Chief Scientist where he was responsible for guiding the company’s long-range technology strategy, particularly in alternative and renewable energy sources.[3] In 2009, he was appointed the U.S. Department of Energy’s second Senate-confirmed Under Secretary for Science serving from May 19, 2009 through November 18, 2011.[4] He left that post in November 2011 for a position at the Institute for Defense Analyses. On April 23, 2012, Koonin was named director of NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).[5]

He has served on numerous advisory bodies for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy and its various national laboratories.[6] Koonin's research interests have included theoretical nuclear, many-body, and computational physics, nuclear astrophysics, and global environmental science.[7]