MSE Seminar: An Unexpected Journey Through Science & Engineering

Wednesday, February 23, 2022
12:00 p.m.
2110 CHE (and via Zoom)
Sherri Tatum

Speaker: Joseph A. King, Jr. Ph.D., Program Director, ARPA-E, U.S. Department of Energy

Title: An Unexpected Journey Through Science & Engineering


A presentation on how one’s early anticipated career path deviates in reality due to the choices one makes in the moment. In this tale, the meanderings include the design, scale-up and optimization of commercial plants, acquisitions in post-iron curtain Europe, five years on Wall Street, developing cements in China and India, more VC activities, and expanding new technologies while in the federal government. Detailed technology descriptions will span the development of solventless, non-phosgene routes to polymers, a ten-year publishing battle over kinetics, getting around the mass law (acoustics), making a figure of merit material independent (thermoelectric generators), more cement, and approaches to squashing the “Duck Curve” (Grid).


Joseph A. King Jr. is currently a Program Director in the Department of Energy’s Advance Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) with current activities in waste heat, cements and concretes, amorphous metals and grid optimization. Dr. King comes to ARPA-E from DuPont where he was a Managing Director in DuPont’s Corporate Venture Capital group responsible for their advanced materials investments. Prior to DuPont, Dr. King held a variety of positions GE ranging from Liaison scientist, to Vice President of Risk Management and Capital Markets. He is a double alum from U.C. Berkeley with a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry. After graduation, Dr. King conducted a post-doctoral study at the Max Planck Insitut für Kohlenforschung in Germany. He is the author of over 40 journal articles and more than 100 patents.

Audience: Campus 

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