In a recent ceremony, Professor Volker Sick was installed as the DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research at the University of Michigan.

Sick in his DTE Energy professorship chair

Volker Sick tests his new chair as DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research.

The DTE Energy Professorship of Advanced Energy Research was established in September 2007 with a $2 million endowment commitment, funded with a $1.5 million grant from the DTE Energy Foundation and a $500K matching grant from U-M President Mary Sue Coleman.

Professor Volker Sick is the third faculty member to hold this title.

At U-M since finishing his Ph.D. at the Universitat Heidelberg in Germany, Sick was promoted to full professor in 2005 and served as the Associate Vice President for Research from 2012-2018. He currently leads the Global CO2 Initiative, a research effort focusing on “carbon-negative, dollar positive” commercially sustainable approaches that have the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions.

Alec Gallimore, Dean of the College of Engineering commented on the importance of the DTE relationship: “We value DTE’s’ long standing support of the University. They have provided nearly $8 million in funding to the success of U-M students through competitions and support in the College of Engineering, Ross School of Business, University Musical Society, and Michigan Medicine to name a few. DTE’s comprehensive engineering recruiting reinforces the excellent relationship between our two organizations. Thank you, DTE, for your ongoing commitment to the University of Michigan.”

Heather Rivard, DTE Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations, shared, “The DTE Energy Foundation is one of the largest foundations in the state of Michigan and provides funding to many programs, but has a particular focus on energy and the environment. We support many things on U-M’s campus, but none more important than this endowment which will live on for years to come. We have a lot in common with U-M in terms of our focus on making an impact on the environment, and we are proud to be working in collaboration with President Schlissel on carbon neutrality goals at the University.”

Numerous executives from DTE Energy attended the event. Also on hand for the ceremony from the University of Michigan were leadership, faculty, staff and students from the College of Engineering, Office of Research, and Business Engagement Center.

DTE Energy and U-M staff listen to Volker Sicks lecture.

DTE Energy and U-M staff listen to Volker Sicks lecture.

The essential funding provided by endowed professorships serves to attract, reward and retain outstanding faculty, bringing prestige and recognition to the recipient and acknowledging their contributions to the university and their field.

After a talk on the importance of removing carbon from the environment, Professor Sick closed with, “So I thank DTE, Mary Sue Coleman and the University of Michigan for this endowment. And thank you to DTE for sending me the smiley face on my home energy statement – please keep them coming.”

Says Amy Bellas at the Business Engagement Center, “The impact of the DTE Energy Professorship will be felt for years to come. Finding overlapping priorities like this provides opportunities to exponentially extend the impact on energy research.”

The DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research is one of five corporate endowed chairs at U-M.