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Meeting the Energy Challenges of New Jersey and the Nation

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) integrates Rutgers’ expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy, putting it at the forefront of alternative energy research. At this critical juncture in history, we have the opportunity to transition from 20th-century technologies to those that sustain economic growth and preserve the integrity of our environment.

about REI

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The Energy Innovation Contest 2014-2015

for Rutgers New Brunswick Undergraduate Students
Sponsored by The Rutgers Energy Institute

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) is hosting its annual energy competition intended to engage students in devising creative and innovative solutions in reducing energy wasted at Rutgers.  "Energy Innovation" is the challenge for this 2015 competition.  

The Goal:
Presently, student, staff and faculty use of the standing buildings and infrastructure of the Rutgers campus complex at New Brunswick/Piscataway accounts for approximately 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere each year. Factoring in commuting students, faculty, and staff, and the total emissions are increased to an estimated 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.  One goal of the Rutgers Energy Institute is to work with students, faculty and staff across the campus complex to make the university carbon neutral by 2030.

The Challenge:
To develop an implementable plan reducing student energy consumption on campus as well as promoting awareness about smarter eco-friendly practices across campus.  Students must demonstrate how energy can be conserved by creating innovative solutions to common energy expenditures.

Enrolled undergraduate students in any program on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus are eligible. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible. Register for the competition by sending an email indicating intent to submit an entry to Beatrice Birrer at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it no later than February 27, 2015.

Submission Date:
Proposals should be submitted on or before March 23, 2015 via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Three awards ($2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place) will be awarded to undergraduate students or teams who have submitted energy reduction plans selected to be the most innovative, practical, and low-cost solutions by a panel composed of faculty chosen by the REI Advisory Board.  

REI Energy Policy Seminar Series - Fall 2014

On September 3, 2014 the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (BSPPP) will commence the academic year with it's Energy Policy Seminar Series presenting its own Bob Kopp, Associate Director, Rutgers Energy Institute, speaking on "The American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States".

  • 9/3 - Bob Kopp (Associate Director, Rutgers Energy Institute, and Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University).
Leaders from various arenas in the energy policy field will be speaking at Rutgers University on the following dates:
  • 10/24David Morrow (Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham) will speak on "Climate engineering and the future of energy policy"
  • 11/7 - Andrew Zwicker (PPL, Head,Science Education) will speak on "The Physics of Politics"
  • 11/14Jason Schwartz (Legal Director, NYU Institute for Policy Integrity)
  • 11/20 - Juan Carlos Ciscar (Scientific Officer of the European Commission) will speak on "Modeling climate impacts in Europe, the JRC PESETA II project"
  • 12/3 - David Babson (AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow)

Unless otherwise noted lectures start at 10:30AM (with refreshments at 10:00AM) on Cook Campus,  Marine & Coastal Sciences, Alampi Room.

New REI Post-doctoral positions

students_in_lab.jpgThe Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) at Rutgers University offers support for Postdoctoral Associates in the broad area of energy research: basic and applied science, engineering, economics, and policy.

The REI will support post-doctoral fellows working on multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects that address more than one element of energy research, and as such will require a minimum of two collaborating PI’s.

Each fellowship will be one year and comes with $25,000 direct cost support. PI's are expected to provide matching funds. Prospective candidates are expected to pursue creative research avenues within existing research programs and faculty expertise. Applications can be submitted by faculty for consideration on an ongoing basis. However, new openings are available as early as Fall 2014.

Applications should include a statement of research interests that clearly coordinates with Rutgers Energy Institute’s research program, curriculum vitae, and 3 references (one from each of two required PI’s). They should be emailed to Dr. Paul Falkowski (Director, Rutgers Energy Institute): This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (please include “Postdoc” in the subject line).

Rutgers Chemists Develop Technology to Produce Clean-Burning Hydrogen Fuel

teddy-asefa.jpgNew catalyst based on carbon nanotubes may rival cost-prohibitive platinum for reactions that split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Rutgers researchers have developed a technology that could overcome a major cost barrier to make clean-burning hydrogen fuel – a fuel that could replace expensive and environmentally harmful fossil fuels. electrolysis catalyst Image: Tewodros Asefa A new technology based on carbon nanotubes promises commercially viable hydrogen production from water.

The new technology is a novel catalyst that performs almost as well as cost-prohibitive platinum for so-called electrolysis reactions, which use electric currents to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The Rutgers technology is also far more efficient than less-expensive catalysts investigated to-date.

“Hydrogen has long been expected to play a vital role in our future energy landscapes by mitigating, if not completely eliminating, our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Tewodros (Teddy) Asefa, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Arts and Sciences. “We have developed a sustainable chemical catalyst that, we hope with the right industry partner, can bring this vision to life.”



REI Scientist Bob Kopp Co-Leads Report on Economic Risks of Climate Change

Rutgers Energy Institute associate director Robert Kopp served as co-leader on a prospectus, the first report to provide a national set of estimates of costs of climate change to key sectors of the state economies.

bob_kopp_small_frame.jpgThe American economy faces major risks from climate change, including damaging coastal storms, growing heat-related mortality, and declining labor productivity, according to an independent report released June 24 by business, education and political leaders.

The report, titled Risky Business, relies upon research also released today in the American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States(ACP). Like a financial prospectus, the prospectus assesses the risks and opportunities for the United States associated with ongoing and future climate change.

The ACP, co-led by  Rutgers climate scientist Robert Kopp, along with colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley, and from the private consultancy Rhodium Group, is the first to provide a national set of estimates of costs to key sectors of the state economies.  

REI Symposium - Newsroom

Rutgers Energy Institute Symposium Addresses Need to Engage the Public in Creating Progressive Energy Policy

Since its esymposium_audience.jpgstablishment in 2005, the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) has set a high bar when it comes to sustainable energy and public discourse with national energy leaders in research and policy such as Steven Chu, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy and Congressman Rep. Rush Holt, U.S. Representative from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District in attendance at its annual symposium. For these past nine years, the institute has been committed to facilitating fundamental and applied scientific research, and progressive energy policy that promotes sustainable energy production compatible with economic growth and environmental vitality.

To promote meaningful dialogue and understanding of the complex technical and societal issues related to sustainable energy, this year’s event, the Ninth Annual Rutgers Energy Institute Symposium, was held on May 6 to a full house at the Fiber Optic Auditorium on the Busch Campus. It focused on the challenge of transitioning to a new world paradigm in energy science, economics and engineering, in conjunction with the need to engage the public in creating progressive energy and climate policy. Read More



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