UCSB Engineering

May 13, 2012

Oracle Chairman Jeff Henley's $50 Million Gift Advances Technology Research at UCSB

Gift from alumni Jeff and Judy Henley will fund collaboration and scientific research at UCSB's College of Engineering and Institute for Energy Efficiency

Jeff and Judy Henley
Jeff and Judy Henley
Source: News Release via UCSB Public Affairs

A new philanthropic gift from Jeff Henley, chairman of the board of Oracle and a UC Santa Barbara alumnus, and his wife, Judy, an honorary alum since 2009, will greatly advance UCSB research in the areas of energy efficiency and other technological innovations. The Henleys have committed $50 million to the highly regarded UCSB College of Engineering and Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE).

“This gift allows us to play an important role in supporting the priorities of the University and the College of Engineering, by significantly advancing the sciences and the Institute for Energy Efficiency,” Jeff Henley said. “We hope to create new opportunities for research and discovery, and to support UC Santa Barbara’s already strong commitment to preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Of the Henleys’ total pledge, $30 million will go toward Henley Hall - the future base of operations for IEE to be named in honor of this generous gift - and will be invested in faculty recruitment for both the Institute and the College of Engineering. The additional $20 million, in the form of an estate commitment, will support priorities of the College of Engineering.

In the face of ongoing state budget cuts, donations are critical to recruiting and retaining leading researchers, and providing them cutting-edge lab space. Henley Hall will see the world’s brightest minds in materials, computing, optoelectronics, control systems, photovoltaics, and solid state lighting collaborate to innovate and advance the discoveries that will one day reduce, even reverse, the global growth in energy consumption.

UCSB's Institute for Energy Efficiency is developing those solutions, and many more. IEE researchers are harnessing nanomaterials to create high-capacity storage batteries and high-efficiency fuel cells, and constructing “energy harvesters” that will see waste heat repurposed as electricity. They are designing hybrid silicon and optical technologies for use in communications devices that will work faster and run cooler.

Created in 2009, the Institute for Energy Efficiency today includes 50 faculty and 120 graduate and postdoctoral students collaborating on energy-efficient technologies. It has quickly come to be considered among the elite university-based centers for such research.

“We waste more energy than we consume, but with scientific and technological breakthroughs we can change that - permanently. The Henleys’ gift is key to enabling our existing faculty and new faculty hired in this important area to focus and collaborate on these important global problems," said John Bowers, director of the IEE and the Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology at UCSB.

“As a college and a university, we must ensure that we are advancing the broad state of knowledge that’s going to help us long-term, while also making sure that we are capitalizing on the near-term benefits of what we produce - which includes our students as well as intellectual property and technology,” said Rod Alferness, Dean of the College of Engineering at UCSB. “The Henleys’ vital support - especially critical given state-funding restrictions - gives us the ability to do both of those things by creating extraordinary research opportunities for our faculty and students alike.”

Their investment helps propel the campus toward the $1-billion goal of its Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, a multiyear fund-raising effort. Jeff Henley, a 1966 UCSB grad with distinction, is the campaign’s co-chair.

“The philanthropic leadership of Jeff and Judy Henley is deeply inspiring; we are thrilled by their vision and generosity, and excited about the momentum their gift provides as we launch the next phase of our billion-dollar Campaign for UC Santa Barbara,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

Jeff Henley is Chairman of the Board of Oracle , which engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center, based in Redwood Shores, Calif. He was Oracle’s chief financial officer from 1991 to 2004.


Jeff and Judy Henley L to R: Jeff Henley and Henry Yang

Related Links

Official News Release: UCSB Public Affairs

Institute for Energy Efficiency

Campaign for UC Santa Barbara

Media Contact

Melissa Van De Werfhorst
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