Associate Director for Programs and Initiatives
Jeff D., Muhs is the Energy Institute’s Associate Director for Programs and Initiatives. He is responsible for increasing campus-wide faculty engagement in various EI activities, convening interdisciplinary working groups on research topics of mutual interest, interfacing with regional innovation ecosystem partners to help spur entrepreneurship and innovation, administering donor-funded seed grant and student internship programs, strategic planning, and catalyzing new educational programs focused on energy.
With 30 years of experience, Jeff has broad and diverse experience at a successful high-tech start-up company, energy consultancy, two universities and a university research foundation, a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory and the United States Senate.
Mr. Muhs holds a B.S. in Electro-Optical Sciences from the University of Houston and has proposed, secured and managed over $100M in R&D contracts over his professional career ranging from small SBIR/STTR Phase 1 projects to large-scale, interdisciplinary DOD, DARPA, ARPA-E-, and FHWA-funded programs. He holds over a dozen patents and successfully took three of his inventions from concept-to-commercialization. He won a prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2006 and was named ORNL’s 1997 Engineer/Scientist of the Year in 1997 and Science Communicator of the year in 2004. He has been a principal investigator of several projects funded by the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Energy and has testified on energy R&D issues before the U.S. Senate Energy & Water Appropriation Committee.
While working in the U.S. Senate as a Energy & Science Policy Advisor, he drafted provisions in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, coordinated the Senate S&T Caucus, drafted legislation based on the National Academies “Rising Above The Gathering Storm” report including the creation of ARPA-E, and provided input to two initiatives announced in President George W. Bush’s 2006 State-of-the-Union Address.
While at WiTricity Corporation, an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-out company, Mr. Muhs was responsible for fortifying intellectual property and sublicensing resonance-based wireless power transfer technology to automotive OEMs including Toyota, tier 1 suppliers (Delphi) and consumer electronics OEMs (both Intel and Dell). In part due to Mr. Muhs’ IP licensing negotiations, WiTricity’s valuation more than tripled during his tenure with the company.
entrepreneurship, energy access in the developing world, engine technology, electric grid technology