News and Announcements
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 grant awarded to Jing Li of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
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
Dismukes' lab is awarded jointly-funded NSF project focused on fluxomics and metabolic modeling in cyanobacteria for biofuels
Cyanobacteria, sometimes called blue-green algae, can harness solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into biofuels and bioproducts. Thus they provide a potential for sustainable production of fuels, materials, and other chemicals. Realizing this potential in a cost-effective manner will require a deep understanding of the metabolism (chemical reactions) of cyanobacteria and this Dismukes lab project will apply the latest computational and experimental techniques to study cyanobacterial metabolism.
REI Annually Challenges Rutgers Undergraduates to Develop Energy Reduction Plans with Energy Innovation Contest
The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) annually challenges Rutgers undergraduates to develop implementable plans for reducing energy consumption on campus. The three winning Energy Innovation Contest entries were awarded prizes at the 2016 REI Annual Symposium on May 4th . First place winners, who received a $2,500 prize, were Timothy Lee (Chemistry major) and Michaela Murr (Mathematics major, minor in Economics and Computer Science) for “A Model-Based Approach to Optimizing Rutgers Transportation Efficiency.” Second place winner of $1,500 was Ian Montgomery (Environmental, Policy, Institutions and Behavior major) for “Submetering Rutgers Housing and Nudging Positive Behavior.” Third place winner of the $1,000 prize was Ian Stewart (Physics major, minor in Biological Sciences & Mathematics) for “Integration of Solar Thermal Energy at Rutgers University.”
REI Associate Director, Kevin Lyons, from Rutgers Business School Department of Supply Chain Management presented this year’s awards and commented on the REI’s longstanding commitment to education and outreach, “… in my opinion the contest is the best of any higher education institution in the nation. It’s even more gratifying to know that Rutgers can utilize the winning student proposals to cut down on energy costs, reduce our carbon footprint and redirect our saved funds to other key areas at the university. Working with our undergraduate students has proven to be a great example of the passion and quality of our students as they find innovative ways to make Rutgers more efficient, and each year I congratulate our student participants, faculty and staff advisors who had a role in this highly successful REI program.”
2016 third prize winner Ian Stewart said,” … I have seen many innovative and technically feasible ideas proposed for the contest, including geothermal energy, rooftop gardens, and piezoelectric technology. One such proposal, tray-less dining halls, was actually implemented in the New Brunswick campuses during my time at Rutgers. In many ways, the research and resourceful thinking necessary for creating a proposal provides an invaluable educational experience into the deployment of renewable technologies and the proper planning and budgeting inherent in green initiatives. This type of innovative thinking and strategizing is invaluable in finding ways to cut CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in an ever-warming world.”
Top prize 2016 winner Michaela Murr commented, “As a student, I really appreciate the opportunity to contribute ideas to improving Rutgers. I think in higher education in general, students tend to be viewed as bystanders to innovation and research, which can lead to significant amounts of untapped potential...Before Timmy Lee and I knew about REI Energy Contest, we would hypothesize about ways to improve our community, but we never thought that there would be an opportunity for our ideas to be seriously considered by the university. This contest allowed our voice to be heard, and we look forward to taking our ideas further. “
Fellow teammate and 2016 first prize winner Timmy Lee said, “Once I created the models, I was able to manipulate distribution and routes of buses however I wanted, and it turns out that my idea was much better than I had originally thought. When I found out about the REI Energy Contest, I was delighted that there was a way to get my voice heard.”
“As an environmental policy major, I hope to initiate solid actions on improving and restoring our natural world through awareness and behavioral changes. This contest has opened many doors for me to enact my plans and meet other like-minded individuals and corporations. It will significantly help improve my chances of making a difference in the world” said Ian Montgomery, 2016 second place winner.
Student contest winners (L-R): Ian Montgomery, Ian Stewart, Timothy Lee, and Michaela Murr
REI researchers discuss "climate tipping points": What do they mean for society?
Scientists at Rutgers University and Harvard University tackle the terminology and outline a strategy for investigating the consequences of climate tipping points in a study published online in the journal Earth’s Future.
“I hear from a lot of people in the general public who wonder whether we’ve passed a tipping point with respect to the climate, but frequently they don’t know precisely what the term means,” said Robert E. Kopp, the study’s lead author and an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers. “And that’s on the scientific community. Oftentimes, we use the term in a way that doesn’t quite jive with popular understanding.”
Solid Waste Management Plan from the New Jersey DEP update
"A recent study by Rutgers University’s New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station suggests that more than four million tons of New Jersey biomass could be used “to make electricity or propel transportation” in the State each year. Approximately 72% of this biomass is produced by the state’s population in the form of MSW."
REI Energy Contest Winners announced...
The Rutgers Energy Institute annually challenges Rutgers undergraduates to develop implementable plans for reducing energy consumption on campus. The three winning entries were awarded prizes at the 2016 REI Annual Symposium on May 4th
(Left to Right: Ian Montgomery, Ian Stewart, Timothy Lee, and Michaela Murr)
1st Place for $2,500: A Model-Based Approach to Optimizing Rutgers Transportation Efficiency
Timothy Lee and Michaela Murr
Lee Major: Chemistry
Murr Major: Mathematics Minor: Economics and Computer Science
Abstract: A model of the current bus transportation system was created and analyzed to propose a more efficient model system. This proposed model can decrease travel times between campus centers by 23.5-66.6% and increase the maximum number of students transported between campuses by 16.1% while using six fewer buses. Reallocating these projected savings to a bike-share program can encourage eco-friendly practices and offer alternative and convenient means of travel for Rutgers students. Over a ten-year period, we expect to save over $740,000 and prevent over 190,000 kilograms of greenhouse-gas emissions.
2nd Place for $1,500: Submetering Rutgers Housing and Nudging Positive Behavior
Major: Environmental Policy Institutions and Behavior
Abstract: A coalition of student and faculty members will be formed to bring awareness to energy reduction methods. Competitions with rewards between residence halls, apartments, and campuses can bring additional motivation for energy reduction to people who do not currently pay for electricity. This requires data that is currently unknown but can be solved through an installation of more extensive submetering of buildings and analysis software and will provide a fast return on investment through cost savings.
3rd Place for $1,000: Integration of Solar Thermal Energy at Rutgers University
Major: Physics Minor: Biological Sciences & Mathematics
Abstract: Installation of solar water heaters on the flat top roofs of residence halls on College Avenue and Cook-Douglass campuses represents an efficient means of lowering the university’s energy consumption from the grid and its effective carbon footprint. With an estimated total cost of $1,102,104 for hardware, permitting, inspection, and installation of these systems on nine dormitories and three laboratories at Rutgers, the systems could potential save $742,894 per year on hot water when displacing electrical water heaters or $62,160 per year when displacing natural gas. The total energy savings of the installed systems is estimated at 208,620 Therms or 6,108,000 kWh annually. This is equivalent to a reduction of approximately 1,106 metric tons of CO2 according to figures from the EPA . Furthermore, implementation of solar water heaters at Rutgers University could raise public awareness of solar thermal systems as efficient renewable energy sources both domestically and commercially.
Governments should study worst-case warming....
In this reuters.com article, speakers at the Rutgers Energy and Climate: One Day Two Great Events Symposium held on May 4, 2016, an REI and RCI sponsored event, are interviewed about limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C.
Reuters article by Sebastien Malo, May 4th, 2016. Read more
Ann Marie Carlton Awarded for Scholarly Excellence
Ann Marie Grover Carlton, Asssociate Professor, Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick, and Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) member was selected to received a 2015-16 Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research. Read more about her research
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.
President Obama Addresses Class of 2016
The first sitting president to speak at a Rutgers commencement told students and their families that the world is more interconnected than ever before and needs to work globally to solve problems, not just to build walls. President Barack Obama told the Rutgers University Class of 2016 that ignorance is not a virtue and urged graduates to have faith in democracy. 'It's Your Turn Now to Shape Your Nation's Destiny'
"This is a place where you 3D-print prosthetic hands for children, and devise rooftop wind arrays that can power entire office buildings with clean, renewable energy. Every day, tens of thousands of students come here, to this intellectual melting pot, where ideas and cultures flow together among what might just be America’s most diverse student body..."
"America converges here. And in so many ways, the history of Rutgers mirrors the evolution of America -- the course by which we became bigger, stronger, and richer and more dynamic, and a more inclusive nation."
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. Applications open until Friday, March 17th, 2017.
Wind Energy Class project takes top prize in Rutgers University's first LaunchR pitch competition
Three Rutgers students with ambitions of building a company around a new device for harvesting wind power won the top prize of $50,000 in a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored business pitch competition.
The students – David Talarico, Ryan Annibali and Antoni Milewski – will now advance to a national competition in Colorado.
The winning technology is something Talarico, a doctoral mechanical engineering student, has been working on for six years. He originally came up with the idea for his senior project when he was an undergraduate.