Talk of energy has loomed large on the national scene as presidential candidates battle for their parties’ nomination. The ever-increasing demand for energy can no longer be met by a handful of sources, but will require a stable of technologies for cleaner and more sustainable technologies, better storage, more modern infrastructure and cheaper, more efficient methods that will increase production.
To meet those complex challenges head on, West Virginia University has joined with three distinguished research universities – Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh – to form the Tri-State University Energy Alliance, a collaboration dedicated to research that will accelerate energy innovation.
As part of the TrUE Alliance, these neighbor institutions will focus their efforts on overlapping and complementary energy research that will address high-priority challenges in order to maximize the potential impact of each institution’s work.
“For a region that has such a rich history and bright future related to fossil energy resources and research, it is natural that these research institutions should formalize their history of collaboration in the form of the Tri-State University Energy Alliance,” said Fred King, vice president for research at WVU.�”Each of these partners brings unique skills and expertise to bear on leading the way for 21st century solutions for our nation’s need for affordable, abundant and clean energy.”
“Building upon years of collaboration across these leading regional universities allows us to develop strong teams of researchers to solve modern energy challenges,” said Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute. “Each of these universities brings unique strengths that together, provide one of the strongest regional research portfolios on the globe.”
Affordable and reliable energy solutions have the potential to unlock new opportunities for growth and mitigate ongoing environmental impact. However, meeting the nation’s increased energy needs requires acceleration of innovation in the energy sector.
To accomplish this, WVU and the three other institutions have been actively engaged in energy research, development, deployment and policy efforts that have the potential to drive the breakthrough transformation we require to solve the world’s energy challenges.
WVU has more than 100 years of applied and fundamental research experience in energy and more than 120 faculty researchers doing work in four areas of emphasis in collaboration with the WVU Energy Institute: fossil energy, sustainable energy, environmental stewardship and energy policy.
WVU’s record of collaboration is strong, with many federal-academic-industrial partnerships across the University’s energy research portfolio progressing state-of-the-art in energy technologies.
The Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory is the first ever long-term, comprehensive field study of shale gas resources in which scientists will study the process from beginning to end. The project will evaluate new technologies for increasing the efficiency of the process as well as the impact of drilling and production on the land, water, air and the local economy.
The Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions is a leader in transportation and power systems. Among other projects, the center’s researchers are developing advanced engine and after-treatment technologies to produce ultra-low emissions for heavy-duty vehicles, advanced combustion research and new on-board diagnostics technology.
The US-China Clean Energy Research Center – Advanced Coal Technology Consortium at WVU is an international collaboration focused on technologies for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, advanced coal and clean vehicles. The consortium’s members are researching areas such as the economic and technical aspects of new post-combustion carbon capture technology; building capture, transportation and storage simulation models; and methods for CO2 capture and recycling.
As part of the renewable five-year term, TrUE Alliance members will regularly discuss energy initiatives, activities and collaboration opportunities, as well as enable faculty, staff and students to connect across institutions.
During the next six months, members will define the scope of activities. Progress and opportunities will be reviewed and discussed regularly and at annual meetings.
This announcement is yet another demonstration of WVU’s research excellence, coming on the heels of WVU astrophysicist Sean McWilliams’ contributions to the international research team that for the first time directly observed gravitational waves, confirming the last prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions’ research that helped uncover the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
In February, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education released its latest update, listing WVU as an R1, or highest research activity, university, a classification shared by only 114 of the more than 4,500 institutions of higher education in the U.S.
CONTACT: University Relations/News
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.