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Slocum named to energy secretary’s oil spill panel

MIT professor of mechanical engineering Alexander H. Slocum ’82 was recently appointed by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to join a group of five scientists whose primary purpose is to devise alternative strategies to help slow the BP oil spill.

Chu announced the appointment on May 14, and the group of scientists convened for a preliminary meeting at the BP command center in Houston shortly thereafter.

Slocum is joining Jonathan I. Katz, a physics professor from Washington University; Richard L. Garwin, a JASON think tank member, physicist, and co-designer of the first hydrogen bomb; George Cooper, a civil engineering professor from the University of California at Berkeley; and Tom Hunter, a nuclear engineering and security researcher from Sandia Laboratories, in order to help formulate plans to address the environmental crisis.

Slocum, reached by email, declined to comment.

In a speech delivered Wednesday, President Obama announced that he had appointed Senator Bob Graham of Florida and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly to lead the “National Commission on the BP oil spill in the Gulf.”

“Very soon I’ll appoint five other distinguished Americans, including leaders in science and engineering, to join them,” he said.

The new commission, which will hold public hearings, will work alongside other reviews, including an independent examination by the National Academy of Engineers.

Slocum was also among the group of scientists to present their research as part of a laboratory tour when Obama visited MIT last fall.

—Ana Lyons