Ah-Hyung “Alissa” Park
Ah-Hyung “Alissa” Park is the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean of the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, with nearly 200 faculty members and more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students.
Prior to beginning her role at UCLA September 1, 2023, Park had been a faculty member at Columbia University in New York since 2007 where she served as the Lenfest Earth Institute Professor of Climate Change and the director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy. She was also the chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and an executive committee member of The Earth Institute and Columbia Climate School.
At Columbia, Park created highly interdisciplinary research and educational programs in sustainable energy and decarbonization, including the CarbonTech Development Initiative for translational decarbonization research — a collaboration between the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy and the Center on Global Energy Policy. She also substantially improved the diversity of the faculty and student bodies within her units, spearheading efforts to achieve a cultural shift toward equity, inclusion and respect.
Park’s research focuses on sustainable energy and materials conversion pathways with an emphasis on using integrated carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies to address climate change. At UCLA, her research group will continue to investigate direct air capture of carbon dioxide and negative emission technologies, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and sustainable construction materials with low carbon intensity.
In addition to collaborating with UN Women, a United Nations initiative, on a project supporting entrepreneurship in sustainable energy in developing countries, she has co-founded GreenOre CleanTech, a startup spun out of research developed at Columbia Engineering that transforms the hard-to-decarbonize industrial sector’s solid wastes and carbon emissions into value-added products, such as carbon-negative building materials while recovering energy-relevant critical minerals.
Park is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), as well as the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is also a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Carbon Utilization Infrastructure, Markets, Research and Development.
Among her numerous awards and honors are AIChE Particle Technology Forum’s Shell Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems, a U.S. C3E Research Award, AIChE PTF’s PSRI Lectureship Award, Columbia University’s Janette and Armen Avanessians Diversity Award, an American Chemical Society WCC Rising Star Award and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She is a member of numerous editorial and advisory boards, and has led a number of global and national discussions on carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, including the 2019 National Petroleum Council CCUS Report and the 2017 Mission Innovation Workshop on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, and the daughter of an architectural engineer and an artist who loves chemistry, Park received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical and biological engineering from the University of British Columbia in Canada. She also earned a doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, from which she later received a distinguished alumni award for academic excellence in 2021.