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Dr. George Crabtree earns AIAA award for excellence

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has named UIC physicist George Crabtree winner of its 2022 Energy Systems Award. The honor acknowledges a significant contribution in the broad field of energy systems, specifically as related to the application of engineering sciences and systems engineering to the production, storage, distribution and conservation of energy.

Crabtree, director of the UIC Energy Initiative and distinguished professor of physics, and electrical and mechanical engineering, was selected for “his seminal contributions to defining the next-generation energy system and innovative technological and workforce development pathways to achieve it.”

Crabtree, who also is director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at Argonne National Laboratory, has research interests involving next-generation battery materials, sustainable energy, energy policy, materials science, nanoscale superconductors and magnets, and highly correlated electrons in metals.

He and other AIAA award winners were honored Jan. 6 during the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum in San Diego.

“We are proud to recognize these accomplished individuals for their influence on the aerospace profession, their outstanding merit, and their unique contributions to the art, science, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “Chosen by their peers, these visionaries, technological leaders and exemplary professionals are truly inspirational. We are grateful for their efforts working toward a better world.”

Crabtree has led Department of Energy workshops on hydrogen, solar energy, superconductivity and materials under extreme environments and co-chaired the Undersecretary of Energy’s assessment of DOE’s Applied Energy Programs. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on the hydrogen economy and on meeting sustainable energy challenges.

His work on vortices in high-temperature superconductors earned him the prestigious Kamerlingh Onnes Prize. He is a two-time recipient of the University of Chicago Award for Distinguished Performance at Argonne and a four-time recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Solid State Physics. He has an R&D 100 Award for his pioneering development of magnetic flux imaging systems.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a charter member of the Institute for Scientific Information’s Highly Cited Researchers in Physics, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 2011, Crabtree launched the UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy, a workshop and lecture series for future energy and sustainability leaders. A diverse cohort of over 500 alumni in positions in government, industry and academia have attended the annual workshop, which challenges participants to think creatively about how the world can power itself in a sustainable way.

He earned his PhD in condensed matter physics from UIC in 1974, shortly after the doctoral program was approved.

With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries and 95 corporate members, AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.