THE CARNOT PRIZE is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice.
Our prize is named in memory of French scientist Sadi Carnot, who in 1824 published Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, which became the basis for the second law of thermodynamics. Carnot recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honor those who have revolutionized our understanding of energy policy.
Learn more about the Kleinman Center mission and our inaugural Carnot Prize ceremony in this video.
2016 Carnot Prize
The recipient of the 2016 Carnot Prize was Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.
We welcomed Dr. Birol to Penn's campus on November 17th for a series of events related to the Carnot Prize. Read more about his visit in this policy spotlight, and listen and watch recordings of the day's events at the links below:
Read the 2016 World Energy Outlook Executive Summary:
Listen to Dr. Birol's conversation with Knowledge@Wharton host Dan Loney and Kleinman Center Faculty Director Mark Alan Hughes:
Watch the Carnot Prize ceremony and Dr. Birol's policy lecture:
Carnot Prize Winners
Fatih Birol (2016)
Dr. Fatih Birol took office as Executive Director on 1 September 2015, twenty years after first joining the International Energy Agency (IEA) as a junior analyst. Prior to assuming his current duties, he held the positions of Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics, with responsibilities that included directing the flagship World Energy Outlook publication.
During his career, Dr. Fatih Birol has made a significant contribution to the international policy debate on energy and climate change. He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on "Sustainable Energy for All." Prior to joining the IEA in 1995, Dr. Birol worked for a number of years as an oil market analyst at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.
A Turkish citizen, Dr. Birol was born in Ankara in 1958. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul. He received his MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna.
Daniel Yergin (2015)