2016 Conn Center Prize


From the desk of Jim Ramsey
March 9, 2016


This is a great week for the University of Louisville and our Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research. We honored a world-renowned Harvard chemist and professor with the 2015 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy. Dr. Daniel Nocera received the award during a black-tie gala, and he will be on campus today, when he will deliver a lecture to students, faculty and staff at the Rauch Planetarium.

Dr. Nocera has found a way to convert sunlight into chemical fuel, much in the same way that plants create energy through photosynthesis. He’s also a leading researcher in the effort to create batteries that store solar power. Having a scientist of Dr. Nocera’s caliber come to the university is a tremendous honor. His visit also shines light on the great work going on at our own Conn Center, which is part of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

The Conn Center was created with a $20 million pledge from generous benefactors Hank and Rebecca Conn, who also have endowed scholarships and faculty positions at the Speed School. The Conns created the $50,000 Leigh Ann Conn Prize to honor their late daughter. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their dedication to the university.

Here’s a link to a video of last night’s event https://youtu.be/ZS74qtmm9FY and a few links to today’s media coverage of the award.



The Conns understand the great work that occurs daily at the University of Louisville. Because of their generosity, UofL is making strides in renewable energy research. We recognize their support this week as we celebrate Dr. Nocera.


President James Ramsey


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