As challenges and needs emerges within society, it is paramount to investigate solutions that can keep up with the constantly evolving energy sector and move the world toward a sustainable future. That urgency is not lost on the University of Houston, a Carnegie-designated Tier One Research University. More than 60 graduate and doctoral students shared cutting-edge research taking place in various UH labs during the 2023 Energy Research Day.
“UH has been doing a lot of work in the energy space for a long time. If you ask most people in the industry and the outside world, they’ll tell you that it’s the best-kept secret in Houston,” UH Vice President for Energy and Innovation Ramanan Krishnamoorti said. “We are trying to change that by highlighting the work that our students, faculty and researchers do across all aspects of energy.”
Presented by UH Energy, the UH Graduate School and the UH Division of Research, Energy Research Day featured presentations that addressed the gamut of energy issues and challenges – from energy poverty to carbon capture and storage, from solid-state batteries to robotics and more.
The event not only highlighted the ingenuity that will drive the industry forward but more importantly, it was an introduction to the future energy leaders who will be responsible for shaping the future of energy for years to come.
“The biggest asset we have is our people,” Krishnamoorti said. “We wanted to find a way to shine a light on them and provide more opportunities for the energy community to get to know the people behind the work.”
The event also featured a keynote address by Harriet Kung, deputy director for science programs for the Office of Science (SC) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Kung examined the path forward for energy as well as the importance of collaboration, workforce development and engaging those tasked with solving current and future energy issues.
She noted that UH was uniquely equipped to make an impact within industry. In particular, Kung referenced UH’s work with the DOE-funded Tracking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) as well as recent student and researcher success in DOE-sponsored competitions.
“This is a huge opportunity for us to really strengthen our partnership with such an important institution. I’m very encouraged [by my campus visit],” Kung said during her address. “If you look at our current workforce, it definitely doesn’t resemble the rest of the America. UH really has the talent and expertise that can complement the current issues that we have.”