The University of Houston is focused on becoming a “vibrant and meaningful partner” with the energy industry in its efforts to meet the world’s energy needs, President Renu Khator said Thursday.
Speaking to the Offshore Technology Conference, Khator discussed the vision for UH’s Energy Research Park (ERP), a 75-acre campus just south of UH. The development of the ERP will help fuel the industry’s future workforce needs, offer a challenging environment for research and foster innovative public-private partnerships.
Khator said UH “has a very focused agenda” in regards to becoming a major resource for the energy industry. It has already spent or committed $60 million on the ERP and it expects to spend an additional $50 million on new programs and facilities.
“Our strategy became energy, because we knew that we had to sync ourselves with the strength of the community and that itself is our pathway,” Khator said.
Khator said the university already is making progress with its energy initiatives, including explosive growth in its undergraduate petroleum engineering program and the establishment of the nation’s first subsea engineering certificate program.
“If we cannot produce the workforce that the industry needs, then we are not really fulfilling our obligation,” Khator said.
UH also is a home to a variety of energy research efforts, including the development of a high temperature superconducting wire that could be used instead of copper wires to increase efficiency in electric power transmission and distribution.
“Once we are successful in this, and successfully we can demonstrate it, I think this could be a great contribution,” she said.
Read the story on chron.com’s energy blog: