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May 6, 2002

Electronic newsroom



Brookhaven Lab Engineer Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

UPTON, NY Vasilis Fthenakis, a senior research chemical engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Founded in 1908, the Institute is a professional organization with more than 50,000 members, of which 1.7 percent are Fellows. Fthenakis is one of eight Fellows chosen in 2002.

Fthenakis's fellowship certificate reads, "This honor is in recognition and appreciation of superior attainments, valuable contributions, and service to Chemical Engineering."

"I am delighted to be honored as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, which is a gratifying recognition of my 20 years of research on prevention and control of industrial accidents, Fthenakis said. I am glad that the computer models I developed and the hazard assessments I guided have wide applications in the photovoltaic, semiconductor, and chemical-process industries.

He added, I am fortunate to work at Brookhaven. The Lab fosters an environment where creativity flourishes, which was indispensably important during the years I was shaping my career, and it still is."

Fthenakis, who is an expert in chemical environmental and safety assessment, heads the National Photovoltaic Environmental, Health and Safety Assistance Center operated at Brookhaven under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Photovoltaics refers to the conversion of solar energy to electricity. The center fosters the safe and environmentally friendly operation of photovoltaics facilities and products.

In addition, as a chemical engineer, Fthenakis has served as a safety and environmental consultant for many oil and chemical corporations in the U.S., including Allied Signal, Amoco, Eastman Kodak, Exxon, CITGO, Dow Chemical, 3M Corporation, Mobil, Sematech, Standard Microsystems Corporation, Ultramar, and Uno-Ven.

A native of Greece, Fthenakis received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Athens in 1975. He received his master's degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1978, and he earned his Ph.D. while working at Brookhaven Lab, in 1991. Fthenakis joined Brookhaven as a research engineer in 1980, and was promoted to become senior research engineer in 1995. Since 1993, he has been an adjunct faculty member of Columbia University, teaching environmental engineering.

Fthenakis has received commendations from DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for his outstanding work on environmental and safety issues related to photovoltaics. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Loss Prevention and Progress in Photovoltaics Research and Applications, and he is the main author of the reference text Prevention and Control of Accidental Releases of Hazardous Gases (Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1993), which is extensively used by the chemical industry, academia and regulatory agencies. Fthenakis also has written 165 peer-reviewed publications.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial, and government scientists. The Laboratory is managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited liability company founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.