Director, Strategic Energy Initiatives
Byron Washom, UC San Diego's first director of strategic energy initiatives, is a risk-taker and an explorer, and his appetite for adventure dates back to his childhood when he lived on the Midway Atoll, a tiny island — the size of UC San Diego — in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. His can-do attitude, and the fact that the word “boundary” doesn’t exist in his vocabulary, are a big part of his success: at age 27, he became the manager of technology and policy at a Fairchild Industries’ advanced projects department. He and his team went on to set eight technical world records for the conversion of sunlight to electricity. And Washom won the R&D 100 Award for the 100 most outstanding innovations in the world in 1984. Now he’s channeling his energy into UC San Diego’s sustainability initiatives.