Joseph B. Powell, PhD
University of Houston
Executive Director, Energy Transition Institute
Joe Powell (Joseph B. Powell, PhD) is Executive Director of the University of Houston Energy Transition Institute, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Fellow and former Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He served as Shell’s first Chief Scientist – Chemical Engineering from 2006 – 2020, culminating a 36-year industry career where he led R&D programs in new chemical processes, biofuels, enhanced oil recovery, and advised on global strategy for the energy transition to a net-zero carbon economy. He is co-inventor on more than 125 patent applications (60 granted), has received AIChE / ACS / R&D Magazine awards for Innovation, Service, and Practice, and is co-author of Sustainable Development in the Process Industries: Cases and Impact (2010). He chaired the U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC), served two terms on the U. S. National Academy Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology and on the editorial board of Annual Review of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and serves as climate advisor for the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development. He served as crosscutting team lead for Mission Innovation Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (2017), and currently serves on the National Academy Carbon Utilization Infrastructure, Markets, Research, and Development Committee. Dr. Powell obtained a PhD from the U. Wisconsin-Madison (1984); and a BS from the U. Virginia (1978), both in chemical engineering.