Director, Energy Initiative, University of Illinois at Chicago
Editor-in-Chief, MRS Energy & Sustainability, Materials Research Society
Dr. Elizabeth Kocs develops and strengthens UIC Energy Initiative programming by expanding its presence on all scales, growing a like-minded network across institutions and industry, and identifying supporting partners and affiliates. She builds relationships with local, regional, national, and international energy, technology, innovation, sustainability, environmental and policy entities and identifies private and public funding opportunities to grow UIC Energy Initiative curriculum, research and collaborative efforts.
Dr. Kocs develops and implements curricular and research training programs, including an undergraduate minor in Sustainable Cities, unique topics courses in energy, sustainability, energy storage and sustainable mobility, and collaborative undergraduate research training internship programs within UIC and with partner institutions, such as the UIC Office of Sustainability, Argonne National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. Dr. Kocs prepares grant proposals to seek funding for intensive interdisciplinary educational institutes, forums in interdisciplinary and STEM foundations of energy, from national agencies such as National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Education, as well as local, regional, national and international private foundations, philanthropic institutions and institutional partners.
Additionally, Dr. Kocs oversees the development and dissemination of UIC Energy Initiative marketing and outreach materials, its website, and its budget. She hires and supervises undergraduate and graduate interns and research assistants. She develops and utilizes innovative classroom and teaching methodologies, and incorporates new technology into instructional practices to further grow UIC Energy Initiative programming. Dr. Kocs is the faculty advisor for BEEST (Behavior, Energy, Economics, Sustainability & Technology), which convenes undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in exploring energy and sustainability topics beyond the classroom.
Her scholarly work spans environmental research on energy perspectives and sustainability, urban parks (ecological restoration and globalization), and housing/home environments. Dr. Kocs has published in materials, energy, architectural, planning and environmental research journals, and has given over 25 talks at conferences worldwide. She has chaired and moderated sessions at conferences, served as guest lecturer in numerous courses, teaches US 130 Principles of Urban Sustainability, and is co-instructor for LAS 493: Topics in Energy and Sustainability course at UIC. Dr. Kocs is co-Chair of the Materials Research Society (MRS) Bulletin Energy Quarterly publication for a second year in a row, belongs to the MRS Focus on Sustainability group , and has been Editor-in-Chief for the MRS Energy & Sustainability journal since 2015.
Making the sustainable energy colloquy quantitative and accessible to all
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