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Rutgers Awarded: DOE ARPA-E grant for advancing "Computationally Efficient Atmospheric‐Data‐Driven Control Co‐Design Optimization Framework with Mixed‐Fidelity Fluid and Structure Analysis (ATLANTIS)"

REI members Ruo-Qian Roger Wang (Civil Engineering) and Travis Miles (Marine and Coastal Sciences), are a part of a multi-university team led by Onur Bilgen has been awarded a DOE ARPA-E grant for advancing "Computationally Efficient Atmospheric‐Data‐Driven Control Co‐Design Optimization Framework with Mixed‐Fidelity Fluid and Structure Analysis (ATLANTIS)"

Read more: Rutgers Awarded: DOE ARPA-E grant for advancing "Computationally Efficient Atmospheric‐Data‐Driven...

NASA Video: Technology Developed at Rutgers Could Enable Humans to Live on Mars

Today NASA posted its promotional video outlining its CO2 Challenge quest to enable Mars exploration by humans. Martians need food, and NASA believes the best way to get it is to make sugars from plentiful CO2 and water that is used to grow bacteria that make complex foods.

Rutgers start-up, RenewCO­2, is featured in NASA’s new video as a first prize seed winner to extend technology developed at Rutgers to enable making sugars from CO2 and water by electrolysis. Two of Rutgers employees from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, graduate student Karin Calvinho and research associate Anders Laursen, are featured in this video. 

Read more: NASA Video: Technology Developed at Rutgers Could Enable Humans to Live on Mars

Rutgers Student Delegate for the Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education (CABLE)

Representing Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in CABLE this year is Student Delegate, Preethy Thangaraj, and Faculty Mentor, Dr. Serpil Guran. They were among over 50 Student Delegates, Faculty Mentors, and Leadership Team members who attended the BIO World Congress 2019 conference in Des Moines. Now in its third year, CABLE is a nationwide organization of 20 universities focused on training students to pursue leadership positions in bioeconomy-related careers. The Ohio State University leads the program and oversees a $2.8 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

Read more: Rutgers Student Delegate for the Consortium for Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Education (CABLE)

NYT: Betting on a New Way to Make Concrete That Doesn’t Pollute

Richard Riman, a Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rutgers School of Engineering and member of Rutgers Energy Institute, founded a technology that cuts carbon emissions of cement-making and concrete-solidification by up to 70%. The cement industry is the leading source of industrial CO2 emissions and accounts for about 7% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions annually. Thus, a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions could reduce annual emissions by an amount approaching 3 gigatonnes per year. Solidia Technologies in Piscataway, NJ, understands that change is essential in the concrete-making process to diminish the environmental impacts along the supply chain.  Rutgers University and Solidia collaborated in the process for commercialization of the technology based on the core research of principal inventor Riman and contributions from Rutgers post-docs and co-inventors: Vahit Atakan, Surojit Gupta, and Qinghua Li.

The technology offers a promising solution for the cement industry’s mass GHG emissions problem and promotes an optimistic future for negative-emissions concrete materials. Read more about the energy-efficient technology and its applications by clicking HERE.

Frank Felder Speaks at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

felderThe Geographical Sciences Committee (GSC) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is a standing committee at the National Academies that provides scientific, technical, and policy advice and recommendations to society and to government at all levels using the methods of spatial analysis and representation. Rutgers Energy Institute director Frank Felder speaks at NASEM, offering insight on climate change, coastal flooding, and the electric power grid.  Frank Felder is a Rutgers research professor and director of the Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy and the Public Informatics program at Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. 

View the presentation here.

Solar Energy Innovators Program - Application Deadline Sept 15, 2018

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Research Participation Program is designed to provide opportunities for students, postgraduates, established scientists and faculty to participate in programs, projects, and activities that support the mission of the EERE. Participants will hold appointments at the Department of Energy (DOE)-EERE Headquarters, EERE field offices, and other EERE-approved sites. Participants will receive hands-on experience that provides them with an understanding of the mission, operations, and culture of EERE.

The purpose of the Solar Energy Innovators Program is to enable selected applicants to conduct practical research on innovative solutions to the challenges faced by electric utilities, energy service providers, and electric public utility commissions as the levels of solar energy, as well as other distributed energy resources (DERs), increase on the electrical grid.

The program is administered by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and is currently accepting application until the September 15, 2018 deadline (https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/DOE-EERE-RPP-SETO-2018-2108). Those selected will receive an annual stipend, allowances for health insurance and research-related expenses, and limited reimbursement for relocation expenses. For more information you can direct prospective applicants to: https://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/fellowships-and-research-opportunities  

Rutgers Energy Institute Energy Contest Plans Reduce Energy on Campus

REI 2018 energy contest web

Energy Institute Innovation Contest winners

L-R: REI Associate Director Kevin Lyons and 2018 contest winners Maya Robles, Emily Cheng, Stephen Petrides, Zijun Xu, Swati Modhwadia, Evan Lutz and Emily Nanneman.

 

Each year, the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) challenges Rutgers undergraduates to develop innovative and implementable plans for reducing energy consumption on the New Brunswick campus through its Energy Innovation Contest, now in its eleventh year. Winners of the 2018 contest were announced during the spring semester at the Rei Annual Symposium by its associate director Kevin Lyons, an associate professor of supply chain management with the Rutgers Business School.

 REI 2018 contest 1st place

First place winners, who shared a $2,500 prize, were Emily Cheng (Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior major, minor in Economics) and Maya Robles (Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior major, minor in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology) for their proposal, “The Collegiate Carbon Exchange.

 

REI 2018 contest 2nd placeWinning the second prize of $1,500 was the team, Students for Environmental & Energy Development-SEED, which comprised Evan Lutz, Emily Sukenik, Zijun Xu, Stephen Petrides and Swati Modhwadia, for its proposal, “Savings Found from Reforming Laundry Room Habits and Installing New Clothes Dryers at Rutgers_New Brunswick.”

 

 The $1,000 third-place prize was claimed by Kyra Frank (Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior major, minor in Philosophy) and Emily Nanneman (Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior) for the proposal, “Lighting the Way to Savings with LEDs.”REI 2018 contest 3rd place

 

The contest, which represents REI’s commitment to education and outreach, has provided students the unique opportunity to engage with their university environment and the experts around them as they research and conduct technical, economic and policy analyses to provide viable solutions to energy consumption and carbon reduction in their local environment.

 

According to REI associate director Rachael Shwom, an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology, the competition has also produced high-quality submissions. “We are very proud of the quality of the proposals our students put forth. Many are creative while being analytically rigorous.”

 

“When you talk to the winners you can tell they’ve really learned a lot about the social, technical and economic complexities of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in their own university,” added Shwom

 

Several of the student proposals to come out of the annual Energy Innovation Contest have been implemented by the university, most notably tray-less dining and use of aerobic digesters. In addition, students have also gained internships with corporations that produce the researched technology from their REI contest proposals.

“The Energy Innovation Contest at Rutgers is a unique opportunity for students to change the future of our energy,” said top prize winner Maya Robles. “Too often people become locked-in to one way of looking at energy and work within those confines. This contest gives students a chance to contemplate what’s not working in our system and come up with their own solutions,” she added.

 

This year’s winning submission from Robles and Emily Cheng, focused on a cap-and-trade program among the Big 10 universities that will accelerate the process to achieve carbon neutrality. Their program, called the College Carbon Exchange (CCX), will provide the mechanism for universities to invest in clean energy and energy efficient operations and engage students to improve their energy behavior.

 

Swati Modhwadia, whose team placed second in the contest, underscored the value of the competition and its capacity to make a difference. “Realizing the issue is a good first step, but real change lies in what we do. This competition allows students to realize that change is within their power. Despite the daunting environmental issues, some planning, teamwork and a simple idea can go a long way.”

 

Her fellow team member Evan Lutz added that “the energy innovation competition is an excellent platform for students to practice creativity and practicality towards sustainability goals. It is very easy to sit back and criticize the energy infrastructure in place in our country and at an institution like Rutgers, but until a report is written and the complexities of costs and implementations are revealed and solved, those criticisms mean nothing. I am so thankful that as a student I can learn so much about myself and get a glimpse into what real-world, energy problem-solving is like.”

CEE Initiative Impact Challenge

Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Initiative Impact Challenge

What is the Challenge?

The CEE Initiative Impact Challenge offers graduate students in appropriate disciplines the opportunity to carry out a retrospective impact analysis on one of four CEE initiatives:

  • • Residential Space Heating and Cooling
  • • Residential Water Heating
  • • Commercial High Efficiency Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps
  • • Strategic Energy Management

The goals of the Challenge are to:

  • • Quantify the energy and non-energy benefits, as appropriate, occurring when CEE members undertake a market transformation  strategy
  • • Learn from the evaluation methodology proposed by competitors which data are important to track and what questions to ask about impact as the initiative evolves

The results of the challenge will be used throughout CEE communications materials as appropriate: website, print, and outreach channels with appropriate attribution of the impact assessment.

If interested or have any questions please contact REI associate director, Rachael Shwom, at shwomrac@sebs.rutgers.edu for more information.

EERE Building Technologies Office (BTO) post-doctoral positions

Building Technologies Office in EERE has two open positions for post-doctoral fellows, one focused on HVAC&R technology R&D and one focused on R&D for grid-interactive efficient buildings.

1. Building Technologies Office Post-Doctoral Opportunity in Grid-Interactive Efficient BuildingsBuilding Technologies Office Post-Doctoral Opportunity in Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings - DOE-EERE-STP-BTO-2018-1203

2. Building Technologies Office Opportunity in HVAC, Water Heating and Appliances - DOE-EERE-STP-BTO-2018-1202

ARPA-E Duration Addition to Electricity Storage (DAYS) FOA

Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy is now soliciting funding proposals for its Duration Addition to Electricity Storage (DAYS) program to improve the stationary electricity storage systems incorporated into the larger electricity grid.

  • Notice of intent deadline June 15, 2018 and full application deadline July 2, 2018.
  • Learn more

Department of Energy Announces $34 Million for Innovation Building Technologies Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $34.5 million in funding to support building technology research and development (R&D). Buildings are the single largest energy-consuming sector in the U.S. economy, representing approximately 75% of the nation’s electricity use and 40% of its total energy demand, resulting in Americans spending nearly $400 billion each year to power homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial and residential buildings.

The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is issuing two funding opportunities: Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) 2018 and Solid-State Lighting Research. These funding announcements will further the Administration’s goal to drive U.S. technology leadership in solid-state lighting as well as develop innovative energy saving technologies, systems, tools, and models that could lead to significant reduction in building energy consumption by supporting innovative research in several topic areas.

BENEFIT 2018 will fund up to $19.5 million for approximately 15-25 cost-shared projects focused on early-stage R&D to enable the development of novel technologies that can improve efficiency, reduce the energy costs of the nation’s buildings, and facilitate interaction with the electricity grid. Read more. 

George Tsilomelekis receives NSF Early Career Faculty Award

George Tsilomelekis, of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, was awarded $500,000 for research on developing more energy-efficient production of propylene, which is used in creating many materials. The research will develop novel catalysts with dual functionality for converting propane to propylene. Tsilomelekis’ uses spectroscopic techniques under real reaction conditions in seeking new paths to efficient, renewable and alternative energy sources. The award also will fund outreach for younger students through development of a freeware computer game that teaches principles of molecular symmetry and spectroscopy. A native of Greece, Tsilomelekis came to Rutgers in 2015. Read more. 

Solar-Powered Sea Slugs Shed Light on Search for Perpetual Green Energy

In an amazing achievement akin to adding solar panels to your body, a northeast sea slug sucks raw materials from algae to provide its lifetime supply of solar-powered energy, according to a study by Rutgers University–New Brunswick and other scientists.

“It’s a remarkable feat because it’s highly unusual for an animal to behave like a plant and survive solely on photosynthesis,” said Debashish Bhattacharya, senior author of the study and distinguished professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at Rutgers–New Brunswick. “The broader implication is in the field of artificial photosynthesis. That is, if we can figure out how the slug maintains stolen, isolated plastids to fix carbon without the plant nucleus, then maybe we can also harness isolated plastids for eternity as green machines to create bioproducts or energy. The existing paradigm is that to make green energy, we need the plant or alga to run the photosynthetic organelle, but the slug shows us that this does not have to be the case.” Read more

NASA iTech Challenge - Seeks Energy Ideas to Improve Life on Earth, Enhance Space Exploration

ARPA-E has joined NASA to launch a new NASA iTech challenge, a competition inviting the nation’s top entrepreneurs and researchers to showcase their ideas for transformative energy concepts. 

The challenge seeks to identify innovative technologies that can improve energy generation, storage and distribution to the benefit of both space exploration and life on Earth. ARPA-E will support the competition and judging process by providing subject matter expertise across a wide variety of energy technologies.

Inventors and entrepreneurs can submit a five-page white paper on their concept on the NASA iTech websitethrough April 29, 2018. A panel of subject matter experts from NASA and ARPA-E will review ideas submitted and select the top 10 finalists based on their relevance and potential impact.

The top 10 finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA and ARPA-E technologists, other energy and space experts and potential investors at the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Forum this June in New York City.

A few examples of technology sub-themes that NASA believes have the potential to improve future space power systems include, but are not limited to:

  • FUEL CELLS AND REGENERATIVE FUEL CELLS

  • HIGH-ENERGY DENSITY BATTERIES AND SUPERCAPACITORS

  • SOLAR POWER SYSTEMS

  • SMALL FISSION POWER SYSTEMS

  • INNOVATIVE POWER MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION (INCLUDING SMART GRIDS AND WIRELESS POWER TRANSFER)

  • X-FACTOR ENERGY

 

Women in Energy Internship Funding Application for female graduate students

The  Center on Global Energy Policy 
Women in Energy 
Internship Funding Application 
Stipends are awarded to outstanding female students who have secured summer internship positions with companies or organizations in energy related sectors. Opportunity is open to non-Columbia female graduate students. 

Internship Funding Eligibility

  • The internship must be relevant to the energy or climate field.
  • The internship offer must be secured at the time of application.
  • "Independent study" internships or academic courses abroad are not eligible.
  • Internship is unpaid.
  • Positions must be a minimum of 6 weeks in duration.
  • Internships in student's family-owned organizations are not eligible.
  • Must be a current female grad student as of Summer 2018. 

All student and internship eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for consideration. 

 
Application requirements:

  • 1 page memo – It must include student’s name, UNI & Columbia ID number (for Columbia students), telephone number, school email address, year of graduation, reason for interning in your chosen organization/company, and reason for applying for the Internship Stipend. This is needs-based funding; students are required to demonstrate a need for the stipend in the memo.
    • For CU students: Stipends will be mailed to the address in the Columbia Student Services system.
  • Curriculum vitae/résumé – Students must include a current CV/ résumé and information on academic standing. 
  • Recommendation letter: one confidential letter of recommendation (sent under separate cover by the recommender).
  • Internship verification: Letter from a representative of the organization with which you plan to perform your internship.
    • Must include:
      • Representative’s title and contact information
      • Job description: Detailed description of tasks and responsibilities to be performed
      • Internship start and end date
      • Specify that the internship is unpaid

By accepting the funding, you are agreeing to the following commitments:

  1. Writing or speaking about your experience which may involve:
    1. Writing a short article or blog post describing your experience for the Center on Global Energy Policy Women in Energy program website
  2. Summary report sent within six weeks of the completion of the internship to be featured in the Women in Energy website and
  3. Participating in activities promoting the Women in Energy program, including but not limited to: speaking at an informational session for the Center on Global Energy Policy, or relevant student clubs’ events and
  4. Completing an end-of-semester stipend funding survey/debrief and
  5. Producing a thank you note to the donors for the Women in Energy program 

Deadline: 
Application materials should be emailed in a single packet (except for the confidential recommendation letter, which should be emailed directly by the recommender).Incomplete applications will not be considered. 
THIS APPLICATION IS DUE May 1, 2018.
 
To submit application packet or if you have any questions,
please contact Jully Meriño Carela at jem2245@sipa.columbia.edu.
 

Visit the REI on Rutgers Day - April 28th

Explore. Learn. Play. Get ready to celebrate Rutgers Day  on  April 28, 2018. All are welcome and admission is free!

 

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) will be on the New Brunswick Busch Campus. 

Come visit us and learn more about what Rutgers is doing to advance Energy Solutions.

Learn about Rutgers expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy for energy solutions. Meet our amazing students and play Energy Jeopardy for prizes. 

The Rutgers Energy Institute will be in the Engineering Area , 15, BEA - 131.

Rutgers "The Bioeconomy: Technological and Policy Path Forward" workshop produces USDA Factsheets

The Rutgers workshop “The Bioeconomy: Technological and Policy Path Forward” provided a context for a broad discussion regarding the development of the bio-economy. The workshop examined the interrelationship of biomass to energy production and biomass-based chemicals. It advance knowledge about policy effectiveness and identified gaps that we need to overcome so to achieve a viable and sustainable multi-function bio-economy.

Key conclusions and insights derived in the workshop “The Bioeconomy: Technological and Policy Path Forward” are summarized in the following USDA Office of the Chief Economist six factsheets:

FACTSHEET: Alternative Aviation Fuel: Preethy Thangaraj, Gal Hochman

FACTSHEET: Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage: P. Thangaraj, S. Okoye , B. Gordon, D. Zilberman, G. Hochman

FACTSHEET: Biofuels: Preethy Thangaraj, David Zilberman, Gal Hochman

FACTSHEET: Bioproducts: P. Thangaraj, B. Gordon, D. Zilberman, Dustin Wang, G. Hochman

FACTSHEET: Duckweed as Biomass: Preethy Thangaraj, Eric Lam, Gal Hochman

FACTSHEET: Manipulation to Improve Sustainability of Biomass Production: Preethy Thangaraj, Robin Brumfield, Gal Hochman

 

The authors thank NIFA award # 2016-670023-24751, the USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses by cooperative agreement #58-0111-15-007, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, and the Rutgers Energy Institute for financial support.

Hult Prize at Rutgers - Great News!

Rutgers University has set a new record by having 2 teams from one university as titleholders of the Hult Prize Regionals Competition. Today, the Hult Prize is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit startups emerging from universities with over 2,500 staff and volunteers around the world. In nearly a decade, the movement has deployed more than $50M of capital into the sector and mobilized more than one million young people to rethink the future of business as it continues to breed disruptive innovation on college and university campuses across 100 plus countries. The Hult Prize Foundation been called the “Nobel Prize for Students” and has been featured in a TIME Magazine Cover Story highlighting the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World.” This year’s challenge focuses on harnessing the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people by 2025. ( www.hultprize.org )

Hult Prize at Rutgers held a pitch competition in December 2017 and the first-place winner, Sulis, continued to the Boston Regional competition in March 2018. There, Sulis competed against 45 universities from around the world and won first place, beating teams from Yale University, Brown University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, New York University, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and others. LivingWaters applied through the online application of the competition and made it to the Shanghai regional finals, there beating out over 50 of the top Asian universities to advance to the summer accelerator. Read more...

 

Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership - March 22

Women in Energy & Environmental Leadership

An event to foster leadership and careers of women in the industry

22-Mar-2018, 7:30-9:00AM
Join for a FREE breakfast at GLOBALCON presenting case studies of successful women businesses owners and national program leaders as they discuss the unique barriers, opportunities and challenges they encounter in their work. The meeting is presented by the Council on Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL). CWEEL seeks to develop a prominent voice for women in the industry, and to contribute to the advancement of women in leadership positions throughout the industry.

Learn more about CWEEL -https://cweel.wordpress.com/

Register - https://portal.aeecenter.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4228