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Dr. Chris Atkinson

ARPA-E Program Director Chris Atkinson

Dr. Chris Atkinson currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His focus at ARPA-E includes improving the energy efficiency of advanced combustion devices, and energy conversion and storage systems.

Prior to joining ARPA-E, Atkinson founded an advanced engine technology consultancy that performed research, development, and product commercialization in the areas of engine control and calibration, fuel efficiency improvement, exhaust emissions reduction, alternative fuel utilization, and hybrid electric vehicle development. Before that, Atkinson held the rank of tenured professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University. He has conducted research on behalf of a number of government agencies and automotive companies, has authored over 110 peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and holds one U.S. patent. He has received awards for research and teaching from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the National Science Foundation. For several years, Atkinson was a member of the advisory board of a major international engine academic research center, in addition to advising a start-up company.

He holds the degrees of B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Natal, South Africa, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University, and Sc.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, with an emphasis in thermal sciences