Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Honors: Lee Lynd Wins First Lemelson-MIT Award

Professor Lee Lynd. Photograph by Douglas Fraser.
Professor Lee Lynd. Photograph by Douglas Fraser.

Hailed as an “alternative fuels pioneer,” Professor Lee Lynd Th’84 received the first-ever Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability for “work that has the potential to improve global quality of life and protect the environment.” At a May 3 ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., Lynd received the $100,000 award for his 25 years of research into alternative fuels, particularly his advances in converting biomass — such as grass, wood, straw, and corn stover — into ethanol for fuel. “Lee’s groundbreaking research has driven forward the public policy debate, the business world, and the fundamental science of bioenergy,” says Nathanael Greene, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council and one of Lynd’s nominators. “His work has helped frame our basic understanding of the sustainable potential for bioenergy and, especially, biofuels.”

The award also recognizes Lynd’s vision and determination. “Decades ago, Lee Lynd started doing something about global warming and the rapid depletion of the world’s non-renewable energy resources,” says Merton Flemings, director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “He continued to experiment and pursue his ideas even when the conventional wisdom said they couldn’t be done.”

In addition to his teaching and research, Lynd serves as chief technology officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Mascoma Corp., which develops ethanol technologies that convert wood-based feedstocks into commercial-scale fuel sources. Mascoma recently received $30 million in its second round of venture funding.

For more photos, visit our Energy Technologies and Sustainability Flickr page.

Categories: The Great Hall, Honors

Tags: award, energy, environment, faculty, research

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