Dr. George Philippidis is the Associate Dean for Research and Director of Sustainable Energy at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS). He holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Denver. As shared by Dr. Philippidis, his undergraduate studies in chemical engineering piqued his interest in sustainability, which he pursued further in his doctoral research and career by focusing on natural resources through a combination of engineering, biology, biochemistry, and microbiology.
Dr. Philippidis’ academic background equipped him with essential tools for a rewarding career, starting in the public sector at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Denver, then in the private sector at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Boston, and presently in academia at USF. In parallel to his career, he has also worked with venture capital and founded start-up companies to bring green technologies into the marketplace. With his academic background and prolific career in sustainability and education, Dr. Philippidis has been promoting sustainability and resiliency through green energy solutions, making a positive impact on the environment.
At present, Dr. Philippidis’ team of postdocs and students is researching different ways to produce sustainable products (such as nutraceuticals and cosmetics) and energy (such as aviation fuels) using natural resources, mostly biomass, algae, and oilseed crops. These areas of research are expected to make a significant contribution to transitioning from carbon-intensive fossil resources to low-carbon renewable ones.
According to Dr. Philippidis, renewable energy technologies have made substantial progress in the last decade. Wind energy and bioenergy are already cheaper than energy produced from coal and natural gas, while solar energy is increasing in popularity due to its modularity and dropping cost. The future of clean and plentiful energy for all people worldwide looks bright.
As a professor at PCGS, Dr. Philippidis has always placed great importance on educating and training the future generation of sustainability leaders. He advises students to participate in internships and research projects, acquire certification credentials, and attend guest speaker events and conferences to network with professionals, who can help them identify job opportunities. Dr. Philippidis, as a member of PCGS, will continue using all available resources to provide students with the tools necessary for a successful career.