Carnegie Mellon focuses on improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources
- Qatar: Saturday, December 08 - 2012 at 11:55
- PRESS RELEASE
As Doha hosts the eighteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8), we are reminded about the acute global need to develop scalable, sustainable and efficient energy technologies.
In September, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh launched the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, a major research initiative focused on improving energy efficiency and developing new, clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources.
The institute was created through a lead gift from Carnegie Mellon alumnus Sherman Scott, president and founder of Delmar Systems, the world leader in offshore mooring, and his wife Joyce Bowie Scott, a trustee of the university.
Through its research and education, the institute will develop new innovative energy technologies and understand how to promote their wide adoption through improved regulation, public policy and the application of behavioral social science.
"The Scott Institute is a university-wide effort that brings together more than 100 CMU professors and researchers to solve some of our toughest energy challenges," said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University. "I thank Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott for their vision in helping to create this institute. They realize the importance of developing sustainable energy solutions that minimize the impact on the environment."
The institute supports teams of Carnegie Mellon engineers, scientists, economists, architects, policy specialists and others to tackle various issues, including developing cleaner, more efficient energy solutions while reducing carbon emissions; using smart grid technology to enable the use of large amounts of variable power generated from wind and solar power; and to create new advanced materials and processes to produce and store energy, increase efficiency and reduce waste. These are all issues being discussed this week at COP18/CMP8, as the Qatar National Convention Centre, a fellow member of Qatar Foundation, hosts the annual climate conference.
"By bringing together experts from a range of disciplines, Carnegie Mellon is the perfect place to help meet the energy challenges of the future," said Scott, who founded Delmar Systems in 1968 and built it into one of the world's leaders in mooring systems for the offshore oil and gas industry. "Energy is a precious resource, and Carnegie Mellon's systems approach can create solutions that ensure we produce and use energy more efficiently."
Granger Morgan, who holds the Thomas Lord Chair in Engineering and is head of Carnegie's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, serves as director of the Energy Institute, and Andrew Gellman, head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Chemical Engineering, serves as associate director.
"In energy, Carnegie Mellon is one of the world's leaders in smoothly combining technology and policy-focused research," Morgan said. "This allows us to avoid abstract policy discussions and focus on creating strategies that give the private energy sector the right incentives to advance secure, reliable and low-environmental impact energy sources."
Carnegie Mellon faculty and researchers have a successful history in creating innovations in the energy sector. For example, its faculty's research on carbon capture and sequestration has helped California provide electricity without greenhouse gas emissions and helped protect the U.S. electric system from cyber attacks.
Jay Whitacre, an associate professor of materials science and engineering, and engineering and public policy in Pittsburgh, developed a novel sodium-ion battery capable of storing power for later use in the electrical grid and then founded Aquion Energy, which is opening a manufacturing plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania next year.
The Scott's gift continues a history of support for Carnegie Mellon's energy initiatives. In 2004, Carnegie Mellon Trustee W. Lowell Steinbrenner and his wife, Jan, pledged seed funds of $4m to set up the Steinbrenner Institute, which develops and enhances the impact of environmental research and education through graduate student fellowships and grants to fund innovative sustainability projects.
Carnegie Mellon also receives support from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) as a member of the NETL-Regional University Alliance to provide a range of research and engineering services in the energy field. NETL is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratory system.
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