Sossina Haile received her B.S and Ph.D (1992) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley. She carried out postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institut für Festkörperforschung [Institute for Solid State Research], Stuttgart, Germany (1992-1993) as a Humboldt Fellow. Haile joined Northwestern University in 2015, after having served 18 years on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology.
Sossina Haile's research broadly encompasses solid state ionic materials and devices, with particular focus on energy technologies. She has established a new class of fuel cells based on solid acid electrolytes and demonstrated record power densities for solid oxide fuel cells. Her more recent work on water and carbon dioxide dissociation for solar-fuel generation by thermochemical processes has created new avenues for harnessing sunlight to meet energy demands.
She is the recipient of several awards, including in 2008 an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship from the National Science Foundation in recognition of “her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels,” the 2010 Chemical Pioneers Award of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the 2012 International Ceramics Prize for the World Academy of Ceramics. In 2016 she was inducted into the African Academy of Sciences.