Science Advisory Board


The Science Advisory Board oversees Novim’s topics for analysis and works with the Executive Board in recruiting study group leaders.

Aristides Patrinos
Chief Scientist & Director of Research at Novim

In 2013, Ari was co-chair of Novim’s Methane Leakage project.

Ari was previously Deputy Director, Research, NYU Center For Urban Science & Progress, Brooklyn, NY. Prior to that, he was Director of the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, where he oversaw human and microbial genome research, structural biology, nuclear medicine and health effects and global climate change.

He is well known for his leading roles in the development of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. Human Genome Project. In addition, Ari helped create the Joint Genome Institute and developed and launched the Genomes to Life Program, a research program dedicated to developing technologies to use microbes for innovative solutions to energy and environmental challenges.

He received his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens, and Ph.D from Northwestern University.

Professional Service – recipient of 3 Presidential Rank Awards and 2 Secretary of Energy Gold Medals. Ari is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Geophysical Union, and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.


David Auston
Executive Director of the Center for Energy Efficient Materials at UCSB

David is the past President of the Kavli Foundation, and his career encompasses a range of experience in industry and higher education. He has been a member of the technical staff and department head at AT&T Bell Laboratories; professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Columbia University; Provost, Rice University; and President of Case Western Reserve University.

A native of Toronto, Canada, David earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering physics and electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley.

Professional Service – David has contributed to research in the fields of lasers, nonlinear optics, and solid-state materials. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society.


Tom Everhart
President Emeritus, Caltech

In 2013, Tom was a member of Novim’s Public Employee Pension study group.

Tom is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology. He received an A.B. degree in physics in 1953 from Harvard University, his M.Sc. degree from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1955, and earned a Ph.D. in engineering from Cambridge University in 1958, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

Tom joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1958, where he served in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for more than 20 years. He then became Dean of the College of Engineering at Cornell University and then Chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois. In 1987 he was named president of the California Institute of Technology. He subsequently served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in England. He holds a guest appointment at the UCSB as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Distinguished Visiting Professor. He is the Senior Scientific Adviser to the W. M. Keck Foundation.

Tom has chaired the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Scientific and Educational Advisory Committee, the General Motors Science Advisory Committee, the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Membership, the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, the Council of Presidents of the URA Board of Trustees and the Harvard Board of Overseers. He has served on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Universities, the National Academy of Engineering Council, as Vice-Chairman of the Council on Competitiveness, and on the Board of Directors of KCET, the Los Angeles public television station.

Professional Service – has included service on the Boards of General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, Hughes Electronics, and Raytheon. He is a member of the Caltech Board of Trustees, the W. M. Keck Foundation Board of Directors, and the Kavli Foundation Board of Directors. He was a NSF Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tübingen in Germany and a Guggenheim Fellow at Osaka and Waseda Universities in Japan as well as Cambridge University in England. He has served on review committees for RIKEN in Japan and for the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of The Royal Academy of Engineering (Great Britain).


David Gross
Nobel Laureate. Former Director, UCSB Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

In 1973, working with Frank Wilczek at Princeton University, David discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. In 2004, David, Frank Wilczek and David Politer were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery.

David is a world-renowned theoretical physicist. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Montpellier, France, and the University of Chinese Academy and Sciences; a rare honor given only after Chinese government approval. The Russian Academy of Sciences confirmed David as a foreign member and awarded him the Medal of Honor recognizing his fundamental contributions to quantum chromodynamics.

David received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966 then spent three years as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University.

In 1973 he was promoted to Professor at Princeton University and named Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics in 1986. He assumed the title Director and holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB in 1997.

Gross, is served as a member of The Novim Group Scientific Advisory Board since 2007 and is a permanent member of the KITP and its Chancellor’s Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics. He has written hundreds of articles as well as conference proceedings and book chapters.


Steven Koonin
Founding Director of the NYU Center for Urban Science & Progress, Brooklyn, NY

In 2008, Steve was the convener of Novim’s first scientific study group looking at Climate Engineering.

He received his B.S. in physics at Caltech and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at MIT. He immediately joined the Caltech faculty, and served as Chairman of the Faculty from 1989-1991. From 1995 to 2004, he was Caltech’s Provost, with responsibility for the totality of its research and educational activities. Following Caltech, Steve served for 5 years as Chief Scientist for British Petroleum in London and was then appointed DOE Undersecretary for Science by president Obama, serving through 2011.

Steve’s research interests have included global environmental science, nuclear astrophysics and theoretical nuclear, many-body and computational physics. He remains engaged in a program of systematic observations of earthshine reflected from the lunar surface to determine variations in global albedo, an important factor in the climate system.

Early in his career, he was a research fellow at the Niels Bohr Institute and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow. He received the Caltech Associated Students Teaching Award, and the Humboldt Senior Scientist Prize. He also received the E.O. Lawrence Award in Physics from the Department of Energy “for his broad impact on nuclear many-body physics, on astrophysics, and on a variety of related fields where sophisticated numerical methods are essential; and in particular, for his breakthrough in nuclear shell model calculations centered on an ingenious method for dealing with the huge matrices of heavy nuclei by using path integral methods combined with the Monte Carlo technique”

Professional ServiceSteve is a member of the Council for Foreign Relations and has served on a number of advisory committees for the US National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and various national laboratories. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


James Langer
Past President, American Physical Society

Jim obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham, England in 1958 and was a member of the faculty of the Physics Department at Carnegie Mellon University from 1958 to 1982.

In 1982 he moved to the University of California at Santa Barbara to become a Professor in the Physics Department and a member of the Institute for Theoretical Physics. He served as Director of the UCSB Institute for Theoretical Physics (later the KITP) from 1989 to 1995.

His primary research interests have been in the theory of non-equilibrium phenomena such as the kinetics of phase transitions, pattern formation in fluid dynamics and crystal growth, earthquakes, and – most recently – the dynamics of deformation and fracture in noncrystalline solids.

Professional Service – includes membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the Oliver Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize of the American Physical Society. He was President of the American Physical Society in 2000 and Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences from 2001 to 2005.


Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Former Dean, Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Science

“Venky” is currently serving as a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Prior to Harvard, he served as Dean of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and before that was Vice President of Research and exploratory technology at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

He is a former member of the technical staff and director of solid state electronics research at Bell Laboratories. He has published widely in the areas of low temperature physics, superconductivity, semiconductor electronics, and photonics. He is credited with developing the field of phonon optics: the manipulation of monoenergetic acoustic beams at terahertz frequencies. He is currently active in the field of semiconductor nanostructures.

Venky holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics from University of Delhi ; and a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University.

Professional Service – Venky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the IEEE, and the Indian Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities, and industry. He lectures widely on solid state, computer, and communication technologies, and on the management of science, technology, and public policy.