Weitzman News

Posted January 21, 2021
  • Jennifer Wilcox

    Photo courtesy Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

Penn Carbon Capture Expert Joins Biden Administration

Jennifer Wilcox, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Energy Policy, is joining the Biden Administration as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy.

Prior to this appointment, Wilcox was the first faculty research appointment of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at Weitzman. Her professorial appointment in the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is the home of her lab, where her team continues to work on innovative ways to avoid new CO2 emissions and to remove old emissions from the air.

“I am excited to serve as a part of the Department of Energy for the incoming Biden Administration. Improving how we manage carbon as we transition to a clean-energy economy will be critical to meeting our climate goals, and I’m eager to bring my expertise in carbon capture and removal to the team,” says Wilcox.

Wilcox’s research focuses on carbon management, and has implications for a variety of applied technologies, including directly removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; capturing it at the source (from power plants and the industrial sector); and sequestering it safely for re-use or permanent storage underground. Wilcox’s research will continue for the duration of her appointment under the direction of Research Assistant Professor Peter Psarras.

Wilcox came to Penn in 2020 from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she was the James H. Manning Chaired Professor of Chemical Engineering. She has served on several committees including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society. She also has served as a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute. She is the author of the first textbook on carbon capture, published in March 2012, and more recently a co-editor on the CDR Primer.

“Jennifer has brought such excitement and passion for her work at Penn, I know she will hit the ground running in her new role to address the most pressing energy and climate issues of our times at the federal level,” says Fritz Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School.