Sheehan Named IREE Science Director

Contact: Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, (612) 626-2670

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (4/25/2011) – John Sheehan, a world leader in sustainable energy systems, has been named science director for the Institute on the Environment’s Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE).

IREE, a signature program within the Institute on the Environment since 2008, is a major source of support for energy-related research across the University system, focusing innovation and application in six key areas: bioenergy and bioproducts; solar; policy, economics and ecosystems; conservation and energy efficiency; wind, hydro and geothermal; and hydrogen production, storage and use. Since 2004, IREE has invested nearly $30.7 million in more than 200 renewable energy research projects and helped leverage an additional $63 million in research funding from external sources.

IonE director Jon Foley called the move ”the next step in the evolution of the IREE program.” Sheehan, whose past work includes 17 years as project manager and analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., will work alongside Dick Hemmingsen, managing director of IREE, and Rod Larkins, IREE’s special projects director. His focus will be on guiding future grant making and strategic research investments.  

“John has considerable experience in energy research from his federal research and private sector days,” Foley said. “Together, Dick, Rod and John are going to manage IREE as a capable team, working with others across the Institute and the University to help accelerate future breakthroughs in renewable energy and the environment. I look forward to seeing even more great things from IREE in the months ahead.”

For more information on IREE, see environment.umn.edu/iree