Congratulations to ND Energy Faculty Award Recipients and Career Achievements

ND Energy congratulates and acknowledges Dr. Joan Brennecke, Dr. Steven Corcelli, Dr. David B. Go, Dr. J. Daniel Gezelter,  Dr. Eduardo Wolf, and Dr. Elaine Zhu for their outstanding achievements in research and other scholarly activities at the University of Notre Dame!

2015 Research Achievement Award – Dr. Joan F. Brennecke

Joan BrenneckeJoan F. Brennecke, Keating Crawford Professor of Chemical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2015 Research Achievement Award. Brennecke spearheaded a research revolution when, in 1999, she co-authored a paper in the journal Nature that reported the first measurement of CO2 solubility in an ionic liquid. She then began making novel ionic liquids, which have the potential for use in many applications, such as carbon capture and refrigeration. As the leading chemical engineering academic working on ionic liquids, she has accumulated more than 12,000 citations of her research. She currently serves as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data and has given more than 200 invited presentations. Her research has resulted in major grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. She has won numerous prestigious awards and honors, including the Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award and the election to the National Academy of Engineering. She has been instrumental in raising awareness of energy studies on campus, establishing the  Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) and chairing the committee that created the Energy Studies Minor for undergraduate students in all majors at Notre Dame.

The Research Achievement Award, incorporated in 2001, honors a distinguished faculty member who has made significant contributions to scholarship in his or her discipline and to the research and graduate education goals of the University. This award is coordinated by the Office of Research.

Steven Corcelli and his wife Christine Corcelli
Steven Corcelli and his wife Christine

Director of Graduate Studies Award – Dr. Steven Corcelli



Steve Corcelli,  Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the recipient of the 2015 Director of Graduate Studies Award.  In addition to his superb management of the day-to-day activities of his graduate program, Dr. Corcelli has also been instrumental in two important departmental initiatives:

  • Fostering a grant-writing climate within the graduate students in the department, as evidenced by an increasing number of external, full-stipend fellowships applied for and awarded;
  • Increasing diversity among doctoral students and promoting careers in the academy for these students through a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need grant.

Dr. Corcelli has also served as a leader in graduate education at the national level — assuming positions of ever-increasing responsibility in the American Chemical Society’s Graduate Education Advisory Board. Now chair of the advisory board, he is working to develop policies and best-practice guidelines for distribution to programs across the nation.

The Director of Graduate Studies Award recognizes the director of graduate studies who has had the most significant impact on graduate studies in his/her program. This award is coordinated by the Graduate School.

ND Energy Faculty Career Milestones

Congratulations to the following ND Energy faculty members for their recent promotions and appointments as endowed professors and emerita/emeritus designations.

To Associate Professor with Tenure:



Dr. David B. Go, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering




To Professor:


Dr. J. Daniel Gezelter, Chemistry and Biochemistry



Dr. Yingxi Elaine Zhu, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

To Emeritus:



Dr. Eduardo E. Wolf, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering