New Thayer School dean specializes in sustainable energy technology

  • Alexis Abramson (Hilary Bovay photograph) Hilary Bovay photograph

Staff Report
Published: 4/1/2019 1:56:23 PM
Modified: 4/1/2019 10:14:21 PM

HANOVER — A Case Western Reserve University professor who specializes in sustainable energy technology and leads an energy institute in Ohio has been named as the new dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.

Alexis Abramson, a mechanical engineer and co-director of the Cleveland-based university’s Great Lakes Energy Institute, will take the helm at Thayer in mid-June, Dartmouth said in a news release on Monday.

Abramson “brings deep expertise in sustainable energy and in building partnerships that connect academic research with public and private efforts to find solutions to urgent challenges,” Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon said in the release. “I am delighted that she will be Thayer’s next leader.”

Abramson has been at Case Western since 2003, and her research has centered on such issues as the thermal characterization of nanostructures and virtual energy audits for making buildings more energy efficient, the news release said. She majored in mechanical engineering at Tufts University, where she also earned a master’s of science degree, before then getting a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2002.

Abramson succeeds Joseph Helble, who served as the dean at Thayer for almost 13 years and was named Dartmouth provost last year.

Dartmouth has started work on a $200 million building on the West End of campus that will include the Thayer School and a Dartmouth center for entrepreneurship, and nearby Dartmouth also plans to erect a building for its new Arthur L. Irving Institute of Energy and Society, which also has Thayer ties.

Dartmouth officials also lauded Abramson for her expertise in the “commercialization” of sustainable energy technology.

Abramson worked as chief scientist and manager of an “emerging technologies team” at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office during the Obama administration and last year also became a technical adviser for Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a major innovation fund trying to combat climate change that was started by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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