UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Martha Krebs, executive director of strategic initiatives at the University of California at Davis Office of Research, has been appointed senior scientist in Penn State’s College of Engineering and principal investigator and director of the Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, effective Dec. 1.
The EEB Hub is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy with a goal to reduce energy use in commercial buildings. Major activity areas include development and deployment of energy efficient building systems and control technologies, building energy modeling and simulation, and economic and business analytics, among others.“Martha brings a dynamic range of superior academic, public and private-sector credentials to the EEB Hub, including her tenure as assistant secretary at the Department of Energy,” said Rod Erickson, Penn State president. “Her wide range of energy research experience, such as her oversight of research and development at the California Energy Commission, highly complement the broad and ambitious mission of the EEB Hub, and we look forward to her visionary leadership contributions.”
Krebs has taken the reins from Laurie Actman, who has resumed her duties as EEB Hub deputy director after serving as interim director since Aug. 1 and playing a critical role during the leadership transition period. “We are indebted to Laurie and her senior colleagues for the marvelous job they have done in guiding the Hub over the last several months,” said Neil Sharkey, Penn State’s interim vice president for research.
Regarding her appointment, Krebs said, “It is a great honor to have the opportunity to lead DOE’s Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Hub has made significant contributions that will lead to new technologies and tools to increase the efficiency of existing buildings across the nation and to build a clean energy future for the U.S.”
Krebs was selected after an exhaustive search by the executive search firm Storbeck-Pimentel. The search committee included representatives from major EEB Hub partner organizations and was chaired by Joseph Bordogna of the University of Pennsylvania, who also is a former chief operating officer of the National Science Foundation.
In her most recent position, Krebs has worked with UC Davis faculty and staff to leverage and expand research programs through federal, state and private partnerships. In that role she also has served as science advisor for the California Energy Commission. Before joining UC Davis, she was the Commission’s deputy executive director for research and development (R&D). There she also was responsible for its Public Interest Energy Research program, which conducts research that seeks to improve the quality of life for California citizens through the development of environmentally sound, reliable and affordable energy technologies.
Prior to coming to the Energy Commission, Krebs was president of Science Strategies, an analysis and consulting firm that works with public and private organizations to identify critical issues and opportunities in science and technology. Earlier, she was an associate vice chancellor for Research at the University of California at Los Angeles. She arrived at UCLA as the founding director of the California NanoSystems Institute, charged with establishing its initial leadership, administration and strategic direction. Krebs also was a senior fellow at the Institute for Defense Analysis, where she led studies in R&D management, planning and budgeting.
From 1993 to 2000, Krebs served as assistant secretary and director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy, responsible for the basic research program that supports the department’s energy, environmental and national security missions. She also advised the Secretary of Energy on the department’s R&D portfolio and the institutional health of its National Laboratories. In addition, she served on the National Science and Technology Council’s Interagency Committee on Science and its Committee on the Environment.
From 1983 to 1993, Krebs served as an associate director for Planning and Development at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she was responsible for strategic planning for research and facilities, technology transfer, and science education and outreach. From 1977 to 1983, she served on the House Committee on Science first as a professional staff member and then as subcommittee staff director, responsible for authorizing the department’s non-nuclear energy technologies and energy science programs.
Krebs received her bachelor’s degree and doctorate in physics from the Catholic University of America. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of Women in Science. She has served on numerous National Research Council boards and Committees. She is also a trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses.