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Professorship Targets Energy Sustainability

As a young chemical engineer at Exxon Mobil 25 years ago, Robert J. Haber, E79, EG80, got a close-up look at the international oil crisis of the late 1970s and early '80s. As a result of that formative experience, the engineer-turned-fund-manager at Fidelity Investments, and current member of the Board of Overseers of the School of Engineering, strongly advocates the importance of energy sustainability.

"The crisis then was sparked by an interruption in supply," he recalls of the time when oil prices skyrocketed due to a decrease in production. "Today, we're experiencing dramatic increases in demand from emerging markets. We're confronted with the inability of supply resources to meet the ever-growing demand. As the energy paradigm shifts, today's world calls for new solutions."

To help spark the discovery of these new solutions, Haber and his wife, Marcy, have pledged $2 million to establish the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professorship in Energy Sustainability at the School of Engineering. As the school continues to enhance its expertise in developing alternative energy technologies, the professorship will provide new leadership in cross-cutting research efforts currently taking place in the departments of chemical and biological engineering, as well as in electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering.

"This professorship will enable the School of Engineering to recruit a senior faculty member with the expertise to take our research in alternative energy concepts to the next level," says Dean Linda Abriola. "We are grateful to the Habers for their investment in excellence in the field of energy sustainability at Tufts."

"We think that Tufts is the perfect place for a professorship of this type because of the dean's flexibility and because of the school's ability to look at a problem such as the world's dependence on fossil fuels from a fresh perspective," says Haber.

"This is not our grandchildren's problem. We hope our gift will spur others to support Tufts' efforts to find solutions to one of the planet's major challenges."