Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) President Jerry M. Hultin and the Board of Trustees today announced that Steven Chu, United States Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, will deliver the class of 2011 commencement speech May 23 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. During the 156th commencement ceremony, Secretary Chu will receive a Doctor of Engineering degree, honoris causa.
"Given the legacy of research at NYU-Poly and the renown of our current and former faculty and graduates, there is a particular poignancy in Dr. Chu delivering the commencement speech here this year,” Hultin said. “Dr. Chu's father, a chemical engineer, was a member of the Polytechnic faculty in the late 1940s, and Dr. Chu’s professional achievements provide our graduates with an example of intellectual and civic leadership to which they can aspire as a result of a strong technical education.”
Since becoming the 12th Secretary of Energy two years ago, Chu has spearheaded the Obama administration's efforts to advance clean and renewable energy. Before joining President Obama’s Cabinet, the co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 served as Director of the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
A former faculty member at the University of California and Stanford University, Chu holds 10 patents and has conducted research in fields as diverse as atomic physics, quantum electronics, polymers and biophysics. He developed methods to use lasers to cool and trap atoms, and he helped launch Stanford University's multi-disciplinary initiative – Bio-X – designed to bring together the physical and biological sciences with engineering and medicine.
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About Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly Polytechnic University), an affiliate of New York University, is a comprehensive school of engineering, applied sciences, technology and research, and is rooted in a 157-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship: i2e. The institution, founded in 1854, is the nation’s second-oldest private engineering school. In addition to its main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it also offers programs at sites throughout the region and around the globe. Globally, NYU-Poly has programs in Israel, China and is an integral part of NYU's campus in Abu Dhabi.