Release Date: December 18, 2014
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Amit Goyal, an internationally recognized materials scientist, has been named director of RENEW, the University at Buffalo’s new interdisciplinary institute dedicated to research and education on globally pressing problems in energy, environment and water.
One of the most expansive initiatives launched by UB in recent years, RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water) will harness the expertise of more than 100 faculty members across six schools and colleges.
Goyal’s appointment was announced today by UB Provost Charles F. Zukoski and Venu Govindaraju, interim vice president for research and economic development. He will join UB in early 2015.
Goyal comes to UB from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he is a corporate fellow and distinguished scientist cited for pioneering research in the field of high-temperature superconductors, including fundamental materials science advances and technical innovations that enable commercialization.
“UB RENEW emerged from UB’s aspiration to pursue impactful research and education that respond to the most important and challenging issues that face our region and world. It evolved out of wide-ranging campus conversations and a deep commitment for UB to address environmental challenges,” said Zukoski. “Dr. Goyal’s record as an internationally recognized energy researcher and extensive leadership and partnering experience make him an outstanding person to lead RENEW and establish UB as a national and global leader.”
Goyal is a Battelle Distinguished Inventor at UT-Battelle, the organization that administers the laboratory, and he chairs the laboratory’s corporate fellows council, which advises laboratory management on scientific and technological issues and opportunities. Additionally, Goyal is the founder and president of TapeSolar Inc., a private-equity funded solar photovoltaics company, and TexMat, an intellectual property holding and consulting company.
RENEW is a model for UB’s Communities of Excellence initiative — under the UB 2020 strategic plan — that brings together researchers from across the university to address society’s toughest challenges and carry out transformative educational, research, creative and community engagement activities. Launched last February, RENEW aims to place UB at the forefront of research focused on sustainability, climate change and natural resources.
As director of RENEW, Goyal will foster collaborations among UB faculty, coordinate new searches for faculty associated with RENEW, coordinate with academic departments to develop new undergraduate and graduate programs, and establish partnerships with organizations, agencies and community leaders. Through a hiring plan implemented over the next five years, the director will coordinate the recruitment of up to 20 new faculty members to help build and grow RENEW.
“I am very excited to join UB and lead RENEW,” said Goyal. “The institute focuses on some of the most important grand challenges of our time. This is indeed a unique time for Buffalo and the New York region, with major new and planned investments in science, engineering and manufacturing. The possibilities truly are compelling.
“It’s been a pleasure meeting the wonderful faculty and staff at UB and also the community leaders in Buffalo,” he said. “I look forward to working with them to build UB RENEW and towards realizing transformative impacts in the areas of energy, environment and water relevant to the region and the world.”
RENEW’s research thrusts will address a variety of prominent issues, such as energy diversification; freshwater protection and restoration; ecosystem science, engineering and policy; societal adaptation to changing environments and the green economy; public health; and environmental management and governance.
The institute’s interdisciplinary focus — involving the faculties of the School of Architecture and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School, School of Management and School of Public Health and Health Professions — is designed to foster new collaborations and produce new ideas. The initiative will tap the leadership and vision of deans and faculty at the six UB schools and colleges.
“As an international leader in basic and applied advanced materials research with more than 25 years of experience managing diverse technical projects involving multiple organizations, and with innovative ideas for the RENEW institute, Dr. Goyal emerged as the leader from a pool of excellent candidates. We are fortunate that he is joining our university community,” said Govindaraju.
Goyal was chosen following an international search led by a committee chaired by Bruce D. McCombe, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Physics, and representatives from schools and units across the university.
Goyal will concurrently hold an appointment as an Empire Innovation Professor in UB’s departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Physics, and eventually in the Department of Materials Design and Innovation.
Goyal joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1991. His research has had a profound impact on the field of high-temperature superconductivity, both in fundamental materials science and in the transition of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Goyal has authored or co-authored more than 350 technical publications, including more than 30 invited book chapters and papers, and has co-edited six books. He has given more than 15 plenary talks and more than 160 invited presentations at national and international conferences. He has more than 80 issued patents. He was the most cited author worldwide in the field of high-temperature superconductivity from 1999-2009.
He is a fellow of eight professional societies: the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Materials Research Society, the American Physical Society, the World Innovation Foundation, the American Society of Metals, the Institute of Physics, the American Ceramic Society and the World Technology Network.
Goyal has received numerous internal and external, national and international awards of excellence, including the E.O. Lawrence Award in the inaugural category of “Energy Science & Innovation,” R&D Magazine’s “Innovator of the Year” award, the World Technology Award in the area of “Materials,” the Energy-100 award of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Pride of India Gold Award, the Global Indus Technovator Award, the Lockheed-Martin NOVA Award and the inaugural TR-100/TR-35 Award from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s TR-Review Magazine. He twice was named Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Inventor of the Year.
He received a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Rochester in 1991, a master’s of science in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Rochester in 1988 and a bachelor of technology in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, in 1986.
He also received an executive MBA from Purdue University and an international executive MBA from Tilburg University in The Netherlands, as well as executive business training from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.