News and Announcements
Bill Nye to Rutgers Grads: Become the Next Great Generation
Dr. Bill Nye accepted an honorary doctorate degree during Rutgers University 2015 Commencement at High Point Solutions Stadium on May 17, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Dr. Nye gave this commencement speech, highlighting our role to create solutions and be the Next Great Generation. Of critical importance is the role of energy.
"Right now, it’s still too easy for any of us to dump our carbon waste in the world’s atmosphere. We are going to need thoughtful, reasonable, fair, and tough regulations. We’re going to find a means to enable poor people to advance in their societies in countries around the world. Otherwise, the imbalance of wealth will lead to conflict and inefficiency in energy production, which will lead to more carbon pollution and a no-way-out overheated globe."
"When you all were born, the Earth’s atmosphere comprised about 0.035% carbon dioxide. That number is often reckoned as 350 parts per million. Well today, as you’re being graduated, the world has over 400 parts per million. By the end of the year, we may reach 40! It’s not just the number… the rate of increase of people and pollution that’s killing us."
"In general, all this means we need to provide two things: Electricity and clean water to everyone on Earth. Sooner or later, we are going to have to come up with some amazing new ideas to create or develop more resources to accommodate more people. I want you to solve our legal problems as well as our technical challenges and, dare I say it — Change the World."
Dr. Nye ended with "So Class of 2015, here’s wishing you the joy of discovery. Keep reaching. Keep seeking. Keep using your abilities to bring out the best in those around you, and let them bring out the best in you. Become the Next Great Generation! You can and you will — dare I say it, Change the World!"
White House Releases Quadrennial Energy Review
The Administration released the initial installment of the first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which examines how to modernize the Nation's energy infrastructure to promote economic competitiveness, energy security, and environmental responsibility and take full advantage of American innovation and the new sources of domestic energy supply that are transforming the Nation's energy marketplace. This report focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure -- the networks of pipelines, wires, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the backbone of our energy system. (Posted April 21, 2015)
Dismukes Research Holds Great Promise for Advancing Sustainable Energy
Advancing Sustainable Energy Research for low-cost replacement for platinum leads to patent-pending technology
New research published by Rutgers University chemists has documented significant progress confronting one of the main challenges inhibiting widespread utilization of sustainable power: Creating a cost-effective process to store energy so it can be used later.
“We have developed a compound, Ni5P4 (nickel-5 phosphide-4), that has the potential to replace platinum in two types of electrochemical cells: electrolyzers that make hydrogen by splitting water through hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) powered by electrical energy, and fuel cells that make electricity from combining hydrogen and oxygen,” said Rutgers Chemistry Professor Charles Dismukes. “Platinum is the benchmark material for both devices as it has the best conversion efficiency. However, while platinum may be acceptable for making jewelry and low volume specialty applications, it is too expensive for large-scale applications such as energy storage and conversion. Our new HER catalyst, Ni5P4, has the strong potential to overcome this challenge.” Read More
Climate Intervention as a Business Opportunity
Paul Falkowski, Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI), discusses climate intervention as a business opportunity in a collaboration with Rutgers Business School. Professor Falkowski talks about two interventions as business opportunities for reducing the effects of carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.
Cleantech University Prize
The Energy Department announced $2.5 million in available funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP), which aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs. This funding opportunity will support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy.
The Cleantech UP will create a strong national infrastructure focused on collegiate high-tech entrepreneurship that accelerates the rate of clean energy innovation in the United States, establishing a national Cleantech UP Hub and supporting up to eight Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions. The Cleantech UP Hub will create a national prize, train student entrepreneurs, and serve as a coordinating body for energy entrepreneurship training, while the Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace. Together, the Cleantech UP Hub and Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will form a strategic network that increases student entrepreneurs' participation—both in quantity and quality—in clean energy, and addresses the existing gaps in early-stage commercialization training.
Cleantech UP will build on the success of its precursor, the Energy Department's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC), which leveraged growing interest in energy entrepreneurship to expand student engagement in clean energy technologies. Launched in 2011, the NCEBPC has attracted more than 750 teams, resulting in more than 70 ventures and generating $38 million in follow-on funding.
Organizations interested in supporting clean energy entrepreneurship should apply. Find more information about this funding opportunity, including application requirements, here .
This funding opportunity builds on the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's work to accelerate development and facilitate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.
- Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 3/4/2015 5:00 PM ET
- Full Application Submission Deadline: 4/16/2015 5:00 PM ET
Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 2015
Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 2015 byBloomberg New Energy Finance: the Factbook has documented the revolution transforming how the US produces, delivers, and consumes energy.
DOE - Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR)
Program solicitation for graduate students to conduct thesis research at 15 DOE National Laboratories. Applications are now being accepted.
- How to apply
- Deadline April 14, 2015
James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship for Graduate Students
The James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship has been established to allow graduate students from Rutgers University interested in climate change preparedness measures to undertake projects to help advance the mission and objectives of the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance. James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship
- Summer 2015 applications being accepted by February 16, 2015.
- Application information here .
National Academy of Sciences Climate Intervention
National Academy of Sciences Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.
February 10, 2015. 11:00 AM. Climate Intervention Reports Release. Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences; Marica McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science and Chair of the reports authorizing committee; David Titley, Penn State University; Scott Doney, WHOI; Waleed Abdalati, CIRES-U of Colorado.
These reports provide a scientific foundation to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions surrounding climate intervention (also known as geoengineering)—the purposeful intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. The reports assess the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). The reports also discuss governance issues and the research needed to provide a credible scientific underpinning for future discussions.
- more information here.
REI Member on new NRC committee on the Future of Atmospheric Chemistry
Anne Marie Carlton , assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, has been appointed to a newly established ad hoc National Research Council committee on the Future of Atmospheric Chemistry , whose goal is to identify priorities and strategic steps forward for atmospheric chemistry research for the next decade. The Committee will study the need for supporting a comprehensive U.S. research program in atmospheric chemistry, including how research in this area contributes to advancing our understanding of climate change, air quality, the carbon and nitrogen cycles, the energy and water cycles, and the overall role of the atmosphere in Earth system science.
Rutgers Professors Receive Fulbright Grants for Research and Teaching Abroad
Robert Kopp selected as a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.