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Jeff Roberts, PhD in Geology, 1992

Jeff Roberts

Jeff Roberts is currently the Deputy Program Director of Energy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. He is responsible for the fundamental and applied research directed toward solving our nation's energy and energy security needs.

It was Jeff’s fundamental science background as an undergraduate that set the stage for his professional career, and the foundation provided by his graduate studies at ASU provided him with many opportunities professionally.

Jeff attended the University of Texas, San Antonio and graduated in 1985 with his B.S. in Applied Science. Based on recommendations from his friends, Jeff decided to take a geology class.

“I had a great time hiking and camping, seeing new remote places, and learning mineralogy as well as geomorphology. After that I enjoyed the field trips offered by the geology professors in more advanced courses,” recalled Jeff. He ended up taking enough classes in the subject that he got a minor in geology.

Jeff pursued his Ph.D. in geology at ASU with Professor Jim Tyburczy, and graduated in 1992. He chose ASU because of the program and the location.

“I really wanted to explore the remote areas of Arizona,” said Jeff. “I got really lucky because the multidisciplinary nature of the ASU geosciences department fit my desire for a career in applied research. My thesis advisor was a physical chemist; my committee members included chemists and ceramists.”

Jeff encourages all students to take classes out of their discipline and apply that knowledge to their chosen field of study.

After graduating from ASU, he moved to California taking a position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The broad, cross-disciplinary course of study at ASU prepared him for a rewarding career there, where he has worked on subsurface geophysics, material science, and now leads the renewable energy program. Jeff uses his fundamental research skills to study a diverse set of problems including issues related to geothermal energy, oil recovery, defect properties of minerals and semi-conductors, textures of liquid metal-silicate materials and implications for the Earth's core, novel solid state materials for high energy particle detection, textures of volcanic pumice and their meaning for explosive volcanic eruptions, and many other topics.

Jeff was one of the dedicated individuals who started and managed the Geoscience Alumni Scholarship that supports SESE students. Jeff is also a winemaker and has his own wine label, Entropy Cellars. In addition to producing award-winning wines, Jeff is a passionate windsurfer, cyclist, and an amateur chef.