ANU honours Obama’s former energy secretary Professor Steven Chu

8 December 2014

ANU has bestowed its highest honour on former United States Energy Secretary and Nobel laureate, Professor Steven Chu, awarding him an Honorary Doctorate.

Professor Chu was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his work trapping atoms with laser light. He has subsequently applied his physics knowledge to studying biological systems, and research in to sustainable energy technology.

He served as the US Secretary of Energy under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. In that period he oversaw a doubling of the amount of power generated by renewables in the US.

“I am honoured to be here to receive an honorary degree from ANU - a premier university in Australia and highly ranked internationally,” Professor Chu said.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO congratulated Professor Chu on his award and his career.

“Professor Chu’s career is one distinguished by contributions to the advancement of science and energy of immense global significance,” Professor Young said.

He said Professor Chu, who first visited ANU for a science conference in 1991, was the first scientist to hold a position in the US Cabinet.

Professor Chu was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.

Professor Chu is visiting ANU for a week to speak at a number of energy and science related conferences and meetings.