Paul Alivisatos was confirmed as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today by the University of California Regents. Alivisatos succeeds Steven Chu, who joined the Obama administration as Secretary of Energy in 2009. Alivisatos had been serving as interim director for the last 11 months.

Alivisatos runs LBL’s Helios solar research initiative, where he is leads research on artificial photosynthesis and photovoltaic technology through the creation of nano-inspired devices. Alivisatos has been a member of the faculty at UC Berkeley since 1988, following the completion of his postdoctoral work at AT&T Bell Laboratories. He is currently the Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology and a professor in the departments of materials science and chemistry.

Alivisatos tweets pretty regularly, generally noting conferences he attends or who he is visiting. His Twitter comment on the appointment: “humbled and thrilled”.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...