News and Announcements

Rutgers was chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to be 1 of 8 regional schools hosting CleanTech student innovation contests this spring and will be awarding one winning team in our region with a $50,000 prize. Rutgers Business School students from the Rutgers University Venture Capital Club (RUVC) were members of a Rutgers team that entered a Department of Energy collegiate competition to fund clean energy startups on college campuses. 

Their proposal was titled: Mid-Atlantic Regional CleanTech University Prize (MARC-UP).  Read the project summary and list of team members below.

Professors from engineering, science, and RBS are acting as mentors.  The student leaders of RUVC are Aaron Weber and Doron Scheffer. 

Rutgers University Project Team:  Dunbar P. Birnie, III, Ph.D., REI Member – Material Science and Engineering Margaret;  Brennan-Tonetta, Ph.D. – Office of Economic Development, REI Member;  Serpil Guran, Ph.D. – Rutgers EcoComplex, REI Member; Lou Cooperhouse – Rutgers Food Innovation Center;  Kevin Lyons, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School, Associate Director REI;  Ted Baker, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School;  Rutgers Entrepreneurial Society;  Rutgers Venture Capital Club;  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

LaunchR is the Rutgers student-run clean technology startup accelerator funded by the Department of Energy. They are focused on connecting young, budding innovators in the green technology space through mentorship and workshops. At the end of the program, expert judges will reward the most promising company in the program with a $50,000 prize.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have selected 14 distinguished experts, including Paul G. Falkowski (Rutgers Energy Institute Director and Distinguished Professor in Marine & Coastal Sciences, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University)  to serve on the new standing committee on environmental science and assessment for offshore energy and mineral resources. The committee will provide independent information on issues relevant to BOEM’s environmental studies and assessment activities and support discussions on relevant issues.

The Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded a Rural Business Development Grant of $19,000 by the USDA Rural Development Office to perform a technical and economic feasibility study of co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure at Fulper Family Farms, located in West Amwell Township.

The Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office funded the BioEnergy Atlas
tools, which include the BioFuels and BioPower Atlases. These tools are
designed as a first pass visualization tool that allows users to view many
bioenergy and related datasets in Google Maps. Users can query and download map
data and view incentives and state energy data, as well as select an area on
the map for estimated biofuels or biopower production potential.

AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program:  10-week summer program places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. Fellows use their academic training as they research, write, and report today’s headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.

  • Learn more
  • 2016 application is now available online!

What are the global warming emissions of electric cars on a life cycle basis—from the manufacturing of the vehicle’s body and battery to its ultimate disposal and reuse? To answer this, the Union of Concerned Scientists undertook a comprehensive, two-year review of the climate emissions from vehicle production, operation, and disposal. They found that battery electric cars generate half the emissions of the average comparable gasoline car, even when pollution from battery manufacturing is accounted for.

The 2016 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will take place from February 29 – March 2, 2016 at the Gaylord Convention Center just outside of Washington, DC. The Student Program is a great opportunity for graduate level energy leaders to network with companies searching for new talent and learn about new energy initiatives. ARPA-E will select 100 graduate-level students to participate in this program. Please encourage Rutgers’ student energy leaders to apply.

The application portal is now open and the deadline is December 4, 2015.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a new, 10-year strategic plan for materials and chemical sciences research, entitled “Challenges at the Frontiers of Matter and Energy: Transformative
Opportunities for Discovery Science.” 

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Revolution Now report, highlighting four transformational technologies: land-based wind power, silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and electric vehicles (EVs). That study and its 2014 update showed how dramatic reductions in cost are driving a surge in consumer, industrial, and commercial adoption for these clean energy technologies—as well as yearly progress.

In addition to presenting the continued progress made over the last year in these areas, this year’s update goes further. Two separate sections now cover large, central, utility-scale PV plants and smaller, rooftop, distributed PV systems to highlight how both have achieved significant deployment nationwide, and have done so through different innovations, such as easier access to capital for utility-scale PV and reductions of non-hardware costs and third-party ownership for distributed PV.

Along with these core technologies, this update briefly introduces three additional technologies on the cusp of wider deployment and cost reduction in the coming years: smart building systems, fuel-efficient freight trucks, and vehicle lightweighting.

Call for Presentations and Posters by Dec. 15, 2015.

  • April 27-28, 2016 event
  • Location held at  Rutgers EcoComplex
  • More details
  • For more information contact: Dr. Serpil Guran, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: 609-499-3600 ext. 4225

Undergraduate student Ajay Kashi has won first prize in the student poster competition at the 2015 AICHe National Meeting in Salt Lake City. Ajay Kashi is a Chemistry and Chemical Biology major conducting research in the Dismukes Laboratory under the mentorship of Dr. Anders Laursen. Ajay attended the meeting to present his research conducted this past summer supported by a Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) Summer Internship on “Scalable Synthesis of Nanoscale Ni5P4 As a Novel HER Catalyst: Investigating the Correlation Between Particle Size and Electrochemical Activity”.

2015 Anders Laursen and Ajay Kashi

Ajay said "My internship with the Rutgers Energy Institute not only gave me a taste of what it feels like to do truly independent research at the graduate level; it also reaffirmed my longstanding desire to pursue a path toward further education in the field of alternative energies and renewable fuels." 

Dr. Laursen proudly stated that "Ajay's work relates in a very direct way to the energy problem currently facing our society. Renewable electrolysis of water is a potential corner stone for the sustainable society and realizing this technology will require the very best young minds. His work focused on how to scale up the production up one of the  most promising catalyst, which will help guide our future research toward achieving renewable energy storage in the near term."

Six undergraduate interns, ranging from across the many fields of energy expertise at Rutgers, researched and explored their topics for 12 weeks this summer on our Rutgers Campuses. At the close of the program, each intern made a presentation and wrote a short research paper, for a day of interdisciplinary learning.

2015 REI Summer internship recipients were: Giuseppe Bongiovi (Physics major), Katelyn Dagnall (Chemical Engineering major), Kevin Feigelis (Physics major), Ajay Kashi (Chemistry & Chemical Biology major), Hardik Patel (Mechanical Engineering major), and Kaila Roffman (Material Science and Engineering major).

Research titles and Faculty mentors:

  • Giuseppe Bongiovi and Kevin Feigelis’s project was with Dr. Sunil Somalwar, titled “Design and Construction of a Prototype Residential Solar Dehumidification”.
  • Katelyn Dagnall’s project was with Dr. Fuat Celik, titled “Photocatalytic Biomass Reforming over Modified TiO2
  • Ajay Kashi’s project was with Dr. Charles Dismukes, titled “Scalable Synthesis of Nanoscale Ni5P4 as a Novel HER Catalyst: Investigating the Correlation between Particle Size and Electrochemical Activity”
  • Hardik Patel’s project was with Dr. Stephen Tse titled, “Flame Synthesis of Graphene”.
  • Kaila Roffman’s project was with Dr. Dunbar Birnie and Frank Felder titled, “Modeling Solar Energy and Local Marginal Pricing for comprehension of Battery Implementation into a Solar Array”.

Over the programs five years, students work has been published in prominent journals.

More information about the REI Summer Internship program can be found at the REI website

The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) has awarded the NBIA Soft Landings International Incubator designation to the Rutgers EcoComplex Clean Energy Innovation Center, a business incubator located in Bordentown, New Jersey. The Rutgers EcoComplex becomes the third active Soft Landings incubator in New Jersey; the Rutgers Food Innovation Center, which focuses on the food and agribusiness sector, and the Enterprise Development Center at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) also have the designation. Through its Soft Landings program, NBIA recognizes business incubation programs across the world that offer specialty services to help foreign companies enter into their domestic market. The Rutgers EcoComplex was selected for the program because of its slate of business services for nondomestic firms and its demonstrated success at helping these firms enter the U.S. market.  The EcoComplex has successfully worked with international companies in areas of environmental and alternative energy innovation.

A recent Rutgers University assessment on bioenergy potential in New Jersey found that the state producers over 7 million dry tons of biomass annually, over 4 million of which could be recovered and used to generate power, heat or vehicle fuel.

Dr. Serpil Guran, Director of Rutgers EcoComplex and REI member, speaks on sustainable biomass and use of waste on WMBC-TV.

Rutgers Energy Insitute (REI) Director Paul Falkowski gave a presentation recently at the Positive Economy Forum in Le Havre, France titled "Climate Change:  Change our Lifestyles or Change the Planet?"

View Video

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 2015 Solicitation 2.  Applications are due 5:00pm ET on Tuesday December 15, 2015. 

*Update for the 2015 Solicitation 2: The SCGSR program is now 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/.   

Applications are now being accepted for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Challenge Program, an innovative new program designed to give undergraduates an early start on the scientific process and solving real world science problems. The program is a 10-week summer internship that awards winning candidates a competitive weekly stipend, furnished housing, and travel assistance to and from ORNL. Participants will be able to conduct hands-on research under the direction of a scientist or engineer at ORNL.

Eligible applicants must be an undergraduate junior or senior in good standing at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. Participants are selected based on their ability to derive a solution to a research Challenge Question. The two challenges are “Simulation and Design of Artificial Model Magnets Challenge” and “The ORNL Distributed Energy Research Challenge.”

For an in-depth technical description of each Challenge project, and to learn how to apply, visit the ORNL Challenge Program website at www.orau.org/ornlchallenge. The application window closes at 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2016. For any questions about this program, please contact Nicie Murphy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (865) 241-6958.

Climate Change Risk Analysis

Professors Bob Kopp and Enrique Curchitser will be teaching a 3-credit course titled “Climate Change Risk Analysis” during the Spring 2016 semester. This course will cover the science, economics and public policy of climate change risks. It will be held on Thursdays from 1:10pm-4:10pm in Civic Square Building 168, Rutgers Downtown New Brunswick campus. Natural/social science and engineering students may register for 16:460:571:01 (SAS) or 16:107:571:01 (SEBS). Policy and planning students should register for Seminar in Urban Planning under 34:970:663:01.

  • Contact Professor Kopp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) Associate Director, Bob Kopp, speaks at NY Times Food for Tomorrow conference, October 20-21, 2015.

New for this Spring 2016: Climate Change, Public Health and Policy

Undergraduate Course Outline for 10:775:202

Instructor:      Frank A. Felder

                        Civics Square Building, Room 249

                        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                        Office Tel. 848 932 2750         

                        For more information on the instructor go to http://bloustein.rutgers.edu/felder/

 Date/Times/Location:            Spring, 2016, Tuesday and Thursdays, 2:40-4:10, College Ave. (Building: TBD)

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a four-year, $12 million grant to establish a new research center led by a Rutgers professor to accelerate the development of materials that improve energy efficiency and boost energy production.

Grant aims to accelerate development of new technologies, such as better materials for conversion of heat to electricity, more efficient batteries.

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