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Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos

Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, whose research into fuel processing catalysts will make it less expensive to produce clean energy, has been named to the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professorship in Energy Sustainability in the School of Engineering.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos is director of Tufts' Nano Catalysis & Energy Laboratory, which studies nanoscale catalysts for clean energy production. Her research into catalysts—materials that speed up chemical reactions—is focused on the reforming of fuels, including biomass-derived "green fuels," to generate hydrogen, the "future fuel."

This past year Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos was elected Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for distinguished contributions to the field of catalysis, particularly for new insights in oxidation reactions on nanoscale metal oxides in fuel conversion and pollutant removal processes. Recently she received the Henry J. Albert award from the International Precious Metals Institute for her research on precious metal catalysts for air pollution control and for clean hydrogen production.

The professorship to which she has been named was established by a $2 million gift from Robert J. Haber, E79, EG80, a member of the board of overseers at the School of Engineering, and his wife, Marcy. The Habers aim to promote research into alternative energy. Mr. Haber, senior vice president and chief investment officer at Fidelity Investments, has been a strong advocate of energy sustainability since working as a chemical engineer at Exxon Mobil during the international oil crisis of the late 1970s and early ’80s. "Our hope is that by establishing this professorship in energy sustainability we will help lessen the world's dependence on oil," the Habers said.

Engineering Dean Linda Abriola says, "Professor Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has made remarkable contributions to clean energy production and air pollution abatement through her nationally recognized work on catalysts for fuel cell applications. The generous support provided by the Habers is tremendously important, advancing her research while at the same time ensuring students have meaningful opportunities to join in her innovative work. We value the Habers' partnership in strengthening the sustainable energy program at the School of Engineering."