Eric D. Isaacs, a Professor in the Department of Physics, the James Franck Institute, and the College, serves as the Provost of the University of Chicago, with responsibility for academic and research programs across the University.
Isaacs became Provost in 2014 after serving for five years as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, one of the nation’s largest science and engineering research centers, which has been managed by the University since 1946. Under Isaacs’ guidance, Argonne’s researchers focused on solving the grand scientific and engineering challenges of our time—particularly the vital national priority of developing sustainable energy technologies. As the laboratory’s director, Isaacs played key roles in creating the Institute for Molecular Engineering and expanding the impact of the Computation Institute—both joint efforts of the University and Argonne. He also worked to integrate Argonne more deeply into the scholarly life of the University through programs such as the Chicago Innovation Exchange and the Urban Center for Computation and Data.
Isaacs joined Argonne in 2003 as the founding director of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials, with joint appointments in the University’s Department of Physics, the James Franck Institute, and the College. He also served as Argonne’s Deputy Laboratory Director for Programs, with responsibility for leading the laboratory’s strategic planning process. Previously, Isaacs worked for 15 years at Bell Laboratories, including terms as director of semiconductor physics research and materials physics research.
As Provost, Isaacs sits on the Board of Governors of UChicago Argonne, LLC, which manages the laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. He also is on the board of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, which recently affiliated with the University.
Isaacs holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College. He is author or co-author of more than 150 scholarly publications—most recently, a paper on the impacts of advanced battery technologies on energy and the environment.