President Joe Biden has nominated leading research engineer Evelyn Wang as director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) which develops US transformative energy technology that may be too high-risk for private industry to undertake.

“Throughout Evelyn’s outstanding career, she has overseen groundbreaking research in heat-transfer technology that has advanced clean energy and clean water solutions,” said energy secretary Jennifer Granholm. Created by Congress in 2007, ARPA-E is an office within the Department of Energy (DoE).

“Having her experience and expertise at the helm of ARPA-E will help solidify DoE’s role as an engine of scientific innovation and a key player in the effort to address climate change,” she added.

Wang is presently head of the mechanical engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research combines heat and mass transport processes with nanoengineered materials to create innovative solutions for clean energy and water.

She is a leading researcher in phase-change heat transfer, which she has applied to thermal management of electronics, thermal batteries, solar thermal energy conversion, water harvesting, and desalination devices.

Wang grew up in California, received her BS degree from MIT, earned her SM and PhD degrees from Stanford University.

ARPA-E empowers America's energy researchers with funding, technical assistance, and market readiness. Awardees exclusively develop entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy.

Wang will require confirmation by the US Senate. No confirmation hearing schedule was released by DoE.

The potential to accelerate energy sector transition through transformative research and development is a prime focus of the Biden administration as it strives to place the US on a path to achieve carbon net-zero by 2050.