Robert C. Armstrong, the Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering, emeritus, is the former director of the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide effort at MIT linking science, technology, and policy to transform the world’s energy systems. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. He was appointed director of MITEI in 2013, after serving as the organization’s deputy director from 2007-2013 with founding director Ernest Moniz. His research focuses on pathways to a low-carbon energy future. Armstrong retired in 2023 after 50 years on the MIT faculty and a decade as MITEI director.
Armstrong has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020) and the National Academy of Engineering (2008). He received the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter, as well as the Founders Award (2020), Warren K. Lewis Award (2006), and the Professional Progress Award (1992) from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Armstrong chaired MIT’s The Future of Energy Storage (2022) study and was a member of MIT’s Future of Solar Energy (2015) and Future of Natural Gas (2011) study groups. He advised the teams that developed MITEI’s reports, Insights into Future Mobility (2019) and The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (2018). He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move (2014) with former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.