News and Announcements
Rutgers Develops Eco-Friendly Concrete
In the future, wide-ranging composite materials are expected to be stronger, lighter, cheaper and greener for our planet, thanks to an invention by Rutgers’ Richard E. Riman.
Nine years ago, Riman, a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering, invented an energy-efficient technology that harnesses largely low-temperature, water-based reactions. As a result, he and his team can make things in water that previously were made at temperatures well above those required to thermally decompose plastics.
So far, the revolutionary technology has been used to make more than 30 different materials, including concrete that stores carbon dioxide, the prime greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Other materials include multiple families of composites that incorporate a wide range of metals, polymers and ceramics whose behavior can be processed to resemble wood, bone, seashells and even steel.
DOE Releases First Annual Report on the State of the DOE National Laboratories
The Department of Energy (DOE) released the first annual report on the state of the DOE national laboratories. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the DOE national labs and their associated science and technology programs, management approaches, and strategic planning efforts. The report was prepared in response to a recommendation from the congressionally-mandated Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy (CRENEL) that DOE should better communicate to Congress and the public the value the national labs provide to the nation. DOE plans to update this report annually.
The entire report can be found at https://energy.gov/downloads/annual-report-state-doe-national-laboratories
Robert Kopp Co-Authors Important Sea-Level Rise Report
The report, "Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States," provides regional sea-level rise scenarios and tools for coastal preparedness planning and risk management. It also reviews recent scientific literature on "worst-case" global average sea-level projects and on the potential for rapid ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica.
Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) - second installment released
On January 6, 2017, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Task Force released the second installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review report titled “Transforming the Nation’s Electricity System.” The second installment (QER 1.2) finds the electricity system is a critical and essential national asset, and it is a strategic imperative to protect and enhance the value of the electricity system through modernization and transformation. QER 1.2 analyzes trends and issues confronting the Nation’s electricity sector out to 2040, examining the entire electricity system from generation to end use, and within the context of three overarching national goals: (1) enhance economic competitiveness; (2) promote environmental responsibility; and (3) provide for the Nation’s security.
The White House (2016): United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization
The White House (2016): United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization. Washington, D.C.
Including carbon removal/BECCS. "The Paris Agreement further invited countries to develop by 2020 “mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.” This document answers that call, laying out a strategy to deeply decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. Link to document.
Rutger Energy Institute Professors Named Fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science
Ten Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor conferred on 381 other experts in the U.S. and abroad. The new Rutgers AAAS fellows include two Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) members - Clinton J. Andrews and G. Charles Dismukes.
The fellows were chosen by their AAAS peers for efforts to advance science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, according to the AAAS.
The REI congratulates Clinton J. Andrews and G. Charles Dismukes on their prestigious recognition and their longstanding signficiant contributions in energy research.
Clinton J. Andrews, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, School of Arts and Sciences Andrews, a professor and associate dean for planning and new initiatives, also directs the Rutgers Center for Green Building. His research interests include the use of technical knowledge in environmental decision-making, environmental management, energy policy and the social science aspects of industrial ecology. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a LEED-accredited professional and a licensed professional engineer.
The association cited Andrews for “distinguished contributions to the field of planning the built environment, particularly using simulation modeling to enhance public discourse on social implications of technological change.”
G. Charles Dismukes, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, and Waksman Institute of Microbiology Dismukes, a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and principal investigator at Waksman, is a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Advanced Materials and Device Nanotechnology (IAMDN) and the graduate training faculty in microbiology and biochemistry. His research focuses on biological and chemical methods for renewable solar-based fuel production, catalysis, photosynthesis, metals in biological systems and tools for investigating these systems.
The association cited Dismukes for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of natural and artificial photosynthesis, particularly catalysis of water splitting and its translation to device applications.”
Rutgers EcoComplex gets EDA 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) grant
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $15 Million in Entrepreneurs Across the Nation to Move Ideas to Market, Promote American Innovation
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced 35 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 19 states will receive nearly $15 million to create and expand cluster-focused, proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program.
The diverse group of awardees, selected from a pool of more than 215 applicants, reach urban and rural areas across the United States, including the program’s first investments in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the South; a women-focused, early-stage capital fund in Texas; a Native American-centered, proof-of-concept program in Oklahoma; and urban innovation hubs honing in on fashion technology (New York) and social innovation (Louisiana). Additionally, six awards are being made in EDA’s Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership regions.
Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded an i6 Challenge Investment grant - Ecolgnite: Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator Program ($439,190) to support clean energy start-ups and innovators.
DOE awarded to Jing Li
Jing Li, professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers Energy Institute member, is a coinvestigator of an award totaling $1.1 million. Li is working with Yves Chabal at the University of Texas at Dallas and Timo Thonhauser at Wake Forest. The project, titled Synthesizing New Metal Organic Frameworks with Tailored Physical and Chemical Properties, is being supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. Learn more about Li here.
ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Student Program
The ARPA-E Summit is now accepting applications to the 2017 Summit Student Program! The Student Program at the 2017 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is a unique opportunity for graduate students to network with organizations searching for new talent and learn about advanced energy technologies. The 100 graduate-level students selected may attend the Summit, participate in student-focused programming, and meet with corporate recruiters.
Accepted students will receive complimentary registration to the Summit. Each participant is responsible for arranging and paying for his or her own travel and hotel accommodations.
To apply, click here. Applications due by December 5, 2016.
Burning Fossil Fuels Poses Existential Threat to Earth
Hiring Fall 2017: PhD Research Assistantship for Social Sciences of Energy Conservation
Drs. Rachael Shwom and Cara Cuite, Rutgers University, Department of Human Ecology seek applicants for a fully funded three-year research assistantship positions available for students pursuing a PhD in Sociology, Psychology, or Planning and Public Policy. Students will be involved in a National Science Foundation Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water (NSF INFEWS) “Reducing Household Food, Energy, and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation” funded interdisciplinary research project.
The project focuses on understanding and seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through conservation of household-scale direct and indirect (via food and water) energy use. The graduate student will be involved in multiple aspects of the grant including: 1) the development of role playing games 2) the development of household food, energy, and water consumption data collection protocols 3) development and analysis of household interventions to decrease household greenhouse gas emissions via food, energy and water consumption. You will be part of a large research team with opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across the United States and the Netherlands in social, natural, and engineering sciences.
Rutgers Awarded NSF Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Grant
Rachael Shwom, REI member, and Cara Cuite, Department of Human Ecology, are part of a multi-university team that received a grant in October 2016 from the National Science Foundation, through their Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water program. The total grant was for $2,983,358, and Rutgers is receiving $419,184 for the project: Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation.
Cara Cuite, associate research professor, is a health psychologist who studies community food security, risk communication and public perceptions of food-related issues, including food safety and genetically engineered foods. Rachael Shwom, an associate professor, is a sociologist who is interested in how different groups of people in society make sense of and respond to energy and climate change problems.
Their project focuses on understanding and seeking ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through conservation of household consumption of food, energy and water. Experimental research will be conducted in residential households in two case-study communities, selected to be representative of U.S. suburban households.
More than 20 students and early-career scientists from underrepresented groups will join the large research team and will have the opportunity to train and collaborate with colleagues across the United States and the Netherlands, a highly industrialized nation that uses 20% less energy and water per person than the U.S.
The graduate students will be involved in multiple aspects of the grant including: 1) the development of role playing games 2) the development of household food, energy, and water consumption data collection procedures, and 3) the development and analysis of household practices to decrease household greenhouse gas emissions via food, energy and water consumption.
The project is scheduled to conclude in September 2021 and the tracking tools, impact models and role-playing software that will be developed in this research will be publicly available at the end of the project in order to inform future research, education and outreach activities.
Converting Food Waste into Fuel for Renewable Energy
A study by Rutgers University's Agricultural Experimental Station last year suggested that New Jersey was not utilizing the potential energy from biomass — organic materials like plants and waste that could be used to produce electricity or propel vehicles.
The food waste from a local supermarket, restaurant, or catering hall could end up being the fuel that serves a source of renewable energy for New Jersey. That's the goal of a bill moving through the Legislature, which would require large generators of garbage to separate and recycle food waste with the aim of converting it to energy... Learn more
Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience - new transdisciplinary Graduate Certificate and NSF Research Traineeship - apply by Feb. 1, 2017
Rutgers’ Coastal Climate Risk & Resilience (C2R2) traineeship will be open to research-based Masters’ and Ph.D. students in the Earth system sciences, social sciences, and engineering. Trainees will learn to conduct research that integrates natural, socio-economic, and engineered elements of coastal systems. They will also gain practice communicating effectively with coastal stakeholders to define research problems, conduct research, and apply research to address real-world resilience challenges.
Over their first two years, trainees will take four core courses: (1) a transdisciplinary seminar on methods and perspectives in coastal climate risk and resilience; (2) a course on communicating science to decision-makers; (3) a summer field course on coastal resilience, and (4) a studio workshop that brings trainees together with coastal stakeholders to address real decision problems. They will also take three elective courses, covering each of natural, socio-economic, and engineered systems. C2R2 Faculty will work with trainees to incorporate transdisciplinary research into their theses and to help them track and reflect on their experiences through the use of mental mapping techniques.
We are currently looking among incoming Rutgers graduate students for our Fall 2017 cohort of trainees. We expect to have 10-15 graduate students in this first cohort. Five will receive up to 2 years of funding as graduate fellows. All trainee candidates who are in research-based Masters’ programs must have at least two years remaining; all who are in Ph.D. programs must have at least three years remaining. Candidates must commit to full participation in the program.
C2R2 is housed at the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and is a collaboration between the School of Arts & Sciences, the School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy. Click here for Flyer.
NJ Sea-Level Rise Reports
The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance Advisory Committee requested that Rutgers University convene a Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to synthesize for practitioners the most recent climate science needed to inform efforts to increase the resilience of New Jersey’s people, places, and assets (including infrastructure, communities and natural resources) to regional sea-level rise (SLR), changing coastal storms and the resulting flood risk.
DOE Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science is pleased to announce that the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications for the 2016 Solicitation 2. Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Monday November 21, 2016.
The SCGSR program is open to graduate students with Permanent Resident status, in addition to U.S. Citizens, who meet all other eligibility requirements. Detailed information about the program, including eligibility requirements and access to the online application system, can be found at:http://science.energy.gov/wdts/scgsr/.
The SCGSR program supports supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE national laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months—with the goal of preparing graduate students for scientific and technical careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.
The SCGSR program is open to current Ph.D. students in qualified graduate programs at accredited U.S. academic institutions, who are conducting their graduate thesis research in targeted areas of importance to the DOE Office of Science. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis/dissertation while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories. The supplemental award provides for additional, incremental costs for living and travel expenses directly associated with conducting the SCGSR research project at the DOE host laboratory during the award period.
The Office of Science expects to make approximately 50 awards in 2016 Solicitation 2, for project periods beginning anytime between June 1, 2017 and October 2, 2017.
Since its inception in 2014, the SCGSR program has provided support to about 160 graduate awardees from over 75 different universities to conduct thesis research at DOE national laboratories across the nation.
The SCGSR program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), in collaboration with the six Office of Science research programs offices and the DOE national laboratories, and the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE).
National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) "Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience"
Congratulations to REI and RCI Affiliates Robert Kopp, Clint Andrews, Rebecca Jordan, and Lisa Auermuller, along with Professor Jie Gong who were awarded a $3 million National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) "Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience" grant. This award is to prepare the workforce that will build coastal resilience in the face of climate risks, by training individuals at the MS and PhD levels who conduct research that integrates all the elements of coastal systems and that communicate effectively with coastal stakeholders in defining research problems, conducting research, and applying research to address real-world resilience challenges.
Mandela Washington Fellows at Rutgers
This summer, Rutgers University hosted its third cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows (MWF), the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa who have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities. New this year to Rutgers, is the addition of a Business and Entrepreneurship Institute, led by Kevin Lyons, on Decision Making for Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chains. Of the 40 Universities across the US who hosted MWF Institutes, Rutgers was one of only 3 to host two Institutes, and the only host university in New Jersey. In this intensive 6-week institute, the MWF Fellows examined many of the elements contributing to the adoption of sustainability strategies, such as legislations that penalize negative environmental and social impacts, and society’s expectations of business in terms of health, human rights, and the environment. Fellows were instructed in the basics and in the challenges for the energy and sustainability sectors in developing countries, sub-Saharan Africa in particular.
Instruction for the Institute was led by Kevin Lyons, the Academic Director, as well as Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, and a core of faculty from the Center for Supply Chain Management at Rutgers Business School. Faculty from other schools and departments at Rutgers including the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the School of Arts and Sciences (Chemistry), the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the School of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering). Guest speakers were invited from a range of businesses including small startups, venture capital groups, medium sized enterprises and large multinational corporations.
The in-class learning experience was supplemented with site visits concentrating on sustainable business models, innovation incubators and local energy business innovators. During the course, Fellows had the opportunity to visit a variety of facilities on campus including the Rutgers EcoComplex and other energy research laboratories in order to understand the entire process of moving sustainable technologies into the marketplace. Site visits also included sessions at Rutgers Business School in Newark and working with high school students in the Rutgers Business School High School Summer Program and the Governor’s School for Engineering and Technology. Many of the faculty and guest speakers who participated in the Institute are continuing to interact with the Fellows and hope to form lasting partnerships and collaborations.
For more information about the program, contact Johanna Bernstein.
(Dr. Kevin Lyons and President Barack Obama)
LaunchR - DOE Supported Clean Energy Startup Accelerator
DOE Supported Clean Energy Startup Accelerator
Who we are
LaunchR is the Rutgers student-driven clean energy startup accelerator funded by the United States Department of Energy. We focus on connecting young, budding innovators in the green technology space with access to strategic networks, capital, and essential resources. In doing so, we seek to cultivate growth, accelerate progress, and help these innovations launch into the business world.
At the end of the program, expert judges will reward the most promising company in the program with a $50,000 prize.
Students/Startups that we are Looking For
Acceptable technology areas include:
Building technologies, advanced manufacturing, vehicle technologies, federal energy management, weatherization and intergovernmental technologies, biomass technologies, geothermal technologies, fuel cells technologies, solar energy technologies, wind and hydropower technologies, and anything else clean and green!
The U.S. Department of Energy Cleantech University Prize aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities. We are one of 8 regions that have parallel contests offering $50K prizes. The top 3 teams in each region compete at the national level for $100K more. 2016 winning teams can be found here: http://www.cleantechup.org/2016-teams/
The Next Round
We will be accepting team applications starting in December 2016.
Rutgers Bio-Economy Workshop - 30Sept to 1Oct
The Bio-Economy: Technology and Policy Path Forward
September 30, 2016: 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM October 1, 2016: 8:30 AM - 4:20 PM Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
This two-day workshop will provide an opportunity to engage in broad discussion about the development of the bio-economy. The aim is to continue progressing the United States towards efficient use of renewable aquatic and terrestrial biomass resources. The purpose of these efforts are to produce and manufacture renewable bioenergy, and plant-based intermediate and final products to fully realize the economic growth potential, environmental value, and national security benefits of the bio-economy.
Speakers will share their insights about the state of the chemical, engineering, and economic sciences; manufacturing processes; federal initiatives; and global bio-economic factors. Presentations will inform cultivation of new ideas about energy and 'green' chemistry policy. Industry, academic, and policy experts will have the opportunity to examine if there is a cohesive 'bio-economy' by evaluating the interrelationship of bioenergy and bioproducts. This workshop will advance knowledge about policy effectiveness and identify information and knowledge gaps that if filled could contribute to a robust bio-economy.
BIG Pitch Competition 2016
Call for Solutions from Collegiate Innovators is now open for 2016!
Seeking Undergraduate & Graduate Innovations That Improve Economies, Health, and the Environment, fitting under the Theme of Sustainability.
**Award: $10,000 cash**
Final Registration Deadline: September 30, 2016, 11:59pm GMT, $50 registration fee.
Finalists will be notified October 10, 2016.
More information click here