UW’s new Clean Energy Institute launched on December 12 with an event attended by UW President Michael K. Young, Gov. Jay Inslee, and researchers, industry experts and policy leaders in renewable energy. The institute will work to develop efficient, cost-effective solar power, better energy storage systems and will develop advanced techniques for integrating these new resources in the electricity grid. In addition, the institute will better connect and boost existing energy research at the UW as well as attract new partnerships and talent, including new faculty members.
Five of UW EE’s graduate students have received fellowships from this institute, which were awarded as follows:
- Yury Dvorkin (faculty advisor – Daniel Kirschen)
- Ahlmahz Negash (faculty advisor – Daniel Kirschen)
- Mushfiqur Sarker (faculty advisor – Miguel Ortega-Vazquez)
- Jeremy Popp (faculty advisor – Richard Shi)
- Jesus Contreras-Ocana (faculty advisor – Miguel Ortega-Vazquez)
A portion of the institute’s funding will provide fellowships to recruit six new graduate students and support about 20 graduate students pursuing out-of-the-box research in solar energy, batteries and smart grids. It will also help hire four new faculty members in the fields of advanced materials and energy systems. About half of the funding in the first year will go toward developing lab space and new instrumentation in the UW’s recently completedMolecular Engineering & Sciences Building. The institute was created with $6 million in money from the Legislature that will support the institute for the next two years.
As an interdisciplinary hub for solar and battery research, the institute will draw on expertise from several dozen UW faculty across campus as well as university, federal and state partners. This includes the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the UW’s Center for Commercialization and the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute. UW EE faculty members who are also involved with the institute include Professors, Daniel Kirschen, Scott Dunham, Miguel Ortega-Vazquez, Richard Shi and Lih Lin.