Steven E. Koonin

Steven E. Koonin has served as chief scientist of BP, the world’s second largest independent oil company, since 2004. BP refines and markets petroleum products in more than 100 countries and serves more than 13 million customers each day. As chief scientist, Koonin is responsible for BP’s long-range technology plans and activities, particularly those “beyond petroleum.” He also has purview over BP’s major university research programs around the world and provides technical advice to the company's senior executives. In 1975, he joined the faculty of Caltech, became a full professor in 1981, and served as Provost from 1995 to 2004. Koonin is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. He has served on numerous advisory bodies for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy and its various national laboratories. His research interests have included theoretical nuclear, many-body, and computational physics, nuclear astrophysics, and global environmental science. Koonin received his B.S. in physics at Caltech and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from M.I.T.