Peter C. Burns
Director of ND Energy, Director of Actinide Center of Excellence, and Massman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame
“Overview of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy)”
In light of Pope Francis’s Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, released in 2015, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, published in early 2016, ND Energy has broadened its mission and vision to include international research and development. This expansion has led to several new relationships and partnerships, both on and off campus, as well as the creation of new research programs and educational opportunities for students. ND Energy’s director Peter C. Burns will highlight current initiatives by the center and will set the stage for a day of learning how universities and others can support the global effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.
Peter C. Burns has focused most of his research over the past decade on the solid-state chemistry, mineralogy, and environmental chemistry of uranium, as well as the transuranic elements neptunium and plutonium. The Burns lab uses many diffraction, scattering, and spectroscopic techniques to study actinides at various length scales. Burns is the Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and concurrent professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He was named Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) in July 2014. Burns also serves as Director of the Actinide Center of Excellence (ACE) tasked with prioritizing research that is important for Stockpile Stewardship — the certification that the nation’s nuclear weapons are secure and operational. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in 1994.