Geography 2050

Dr. Vasilis Fthenakis

Columbia University

Dr. Fthenakis is the Founder and Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis (CLCA), and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University. He is also a Senior Scientist Emeritus at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where he conducted research for over 36 years. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChe), a Fellow of the International Energy Foundation (IEF), and a co-founder and Board Member of the Global Clean Water Desalination Alliance (GWDA) - which was launched during the COP21 in Paris. Dr. Fthenakis has extensive experience with energy, especially solar power and life-cycle analysis. He is the co-author and editor of 4 books and about 400 scientific publications on topics related to energy life-cycles and the environment. One of his publications, “Grand Plan for Solar Energy,” is a leading study that shows the technical, economic, and geographical feasibility of using solar power with other renewables to satisfy 69% of the electricity needs of the U.S. by 2050. As the Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis, his mission is to guide technology and energy policy decisions towards a renewable electricity grid. Dr. Fthenakis graduated from the University of Athens with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 1974. He also earned a Master’s degree in Chemical engineering from Columbia University in New York City in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Fluid Dynamics and Atmospheric Science from New York University.