Sofronis to lead MechSE grad programs


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Petros Sofronis
Petros Sofronis

Professor Petros Sofronis, the James W. Bayne Professor in MechSE, has been named the department’s new Associate Head for Graduate Programs.


He takes over this associate head role after Professor Taher Saif’s very successful four-year appointment. With this new appointment, Sofronis transitions out of his previous role as Director of Mechanics Programs, which has been filled by Associate Professor Elif Ertekin.

Earlier this year, Sofronis won the 2020 ASME Frank Kreith Energy Award, an honor given to individuals who have made significant contributions to a secure energy future through innovations in conservation or renewable energy technology through practice, research, teaching, or outstanding leadership.  

Sofronis also heads the new Midwest Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Coalition formed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois’s Grainger College of Engineering. 

He has led the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) since it was created by Illinois and Kyushu University in Japan in 2010. Through funding from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, the two universities spearheaded a global effort to advance low-carbon emissions and cost-effective energy systems and the improvement of energy efficiency. With the 10-year agreement set to expire on March 31, 2020, the universities have decided to take the framework of the agreement and expand it to other colleges and initiatives through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 

Sofronis earned his PhD in theoretical and applied mechanics from Illinois in 1987 and joined the department as an assistant professor in 1991.



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This story was published August 31, 2020.