Solar energy leadership boosted at Binghamton University
BINGHAMTON, NY -- In efforts to ensure the advancement of Binghamton University’s growing strength in solar energy research, Seshu Desu and Provost Mary Ann Swain have announced that he will resign as dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science on June 1, to become executive director of the Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP). Desu will also serve as a senior advisor to Swain.
In establishing CASP, Desu has made major contributions in the use of flexible electronics to fabricate solar collectors. He has proposed key initiatives to make them light-weight, portable and useable as movable equipment and garments. Desu has also made great strides in the use of supercapacitors to store solar energy, which could be used in clothing or to power electronics. Desu has also been very instrumental in securing over $4.5 million in Congressionally directed funding.
“To advance our efforts in solar energy research will require a comprehensive plan, sustained leadership and a considerable investment of time and energy,” said Swain. “In order to realize the promise of these innovative ideas and to meet our obligations to this federal initiative, I am pleased that we will be able to count on Dr. Desu’s foresight and problem-solving. Building on our strengths in solar energy will require thinking outside the box, and Seshu is certainly well qualified to advance this project.”
In transitioning Desu from his role as dean of the Watson School, Swain has asked the faculty and staff of the Watson School to provide comments about the transition and nominations for new leadership. She will also meet with the Watson Faculty Senate representatives, the Watson department chairs, President DeFleur and other constituents as part of the decision-making process. Swain is hoping to have a replacement named in early summer.