UD Energy Institute hosts symposium to form campus partnerships
Jingguang Chen addressed participants in a symposium hosted by the University of Delaware Energy Institute.
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8:59 a.m., Dec. 15, 2008----A half-day symposium held Friday at Clayton Hall brought together more than 30 University of Delaware researchers with interests in the field of energy to share highlights of their work and stimulate collaboration.

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Participants also included faculty from Lincoln University in nearby Pennsylvania who are working with UD research teams.

The event was hosted by the University of Delaware Energy Institute (UDEI).

In welcoming participants, Jingguang Chen, the University of Delaware's Claire D. LeClaire Professor of Chemical Engineering and interim director of UDEI, quoted the late Nobel laureate Richard Smalley in asserting that energy is number one on the list of humanity's top ten problems for the next 50 years.

“It's not a monolithic issue,” Chen said, “as it touches on sustainability, supply, demand, infrastructure, technology, policy, environment, and a number of other issues.”

The mission of UDEI is to create the enabling science and advance the development and deployment of new and emerging energy technologies. “We would like to make UD a leading resource for energy education and innovation,” Chen said.

The roles of the institute include promoting information exchange and collaboration, coordinating large-scale energy proposals with multiple principal investigators, providing seed funding to promote interdisciplinary research, and establishing central facilities to assist research groups on campus.

“We hope that ideas for other UDEI activities will emerge from today's symposium,” Chen said.

Researchers representing engineering, physics, computer science, public policy, marine science and business gave brief presentations on their work in topics ranging from semiconductors, magnets and nanocomposites to fuel cells, solar hydrogen and vehicle-to-grid technology.

With UDEI serving as an umbrella organization for all energy-related research efforts on campus, speakers also represented several related research centers, including the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, the Center for Fuel Cell Research, the Institute of Energy Conversion, and the Center for Catalytic Science & Technology, as well as the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program in solar hydrogen.

Several of the presentations addressed the formation of new multidisciplinary programs that are still in the proposal stage on topics ranging from green building materials to a new approach to solar cell development.

Article by Diane Kukich

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