Energy Research - University of Houston
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Where Curiosity Sparks Breakthroughs

The University of Houston plays a leading role in promoting research and innovation in energy and in its intersection with sustainability. Our research is focused on the critical challenges facing global communities and approaches each of these issues with an interdisciplinary scope, complemented by deep disciplinary knowledge and expertise.  At the University of Houston, we celebrate innovative solutions to complex challenges, and we encourage entrepreneurial efforts to take these solutions out into the world.

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Energy research at UH integrates sustainability and environmental impact to ensure its broad and continued applicability.  The exploration and production of oil and gas from conventional, unconventional and offshore assets is a significant strength for the University.  With over 40 percent of the nation’s refining and chemical industry located along the Gulf Coast, UH has developed curricula in chemistry, chemical engineering, supply chain and infrastructure to address industry challenges.

Supported by cutting edge fundamentals and applied research in superconductivity, UH is a leader in power electronics, grid infrastructure and storage solutions. Mirroring our knowledge in offshore oil and gas, we have comprehensive expertise in offshore wind power, solar and thermoelectric technologies. Faculty expertise in academic programs such as industrial psychology and global energy management emphasizes the connection between human factors and management and the technical issues surrounding energy and sustainability.  Our world-renowned energy law program, along with the Energy, Environment and Natural Resource Center and the Hobby School of Public Affairs, are advancing regulatory and public policy issues.

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    Upstream oil and gas involves the following functional areas: exploration, production, offshore, unconventionals, finance and contracting, and regulatory practices.


    Midstream and downstream oil and gas involves the following functional areas: refining and processing, transportation, finance and contracting, chemicals and polymers, and regulatory practices.


    Electric power involves the following functional areas: fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, solar, fuel cells, thermal and regulatory practices.


    Alternatives and enablers involves the following functional areas: energy storage, energy efficiency, alternative fuels and grid management (technical). 


    Policy and management involves the following functional areas: environment, social causes and economics. 


    Sustainability involves the following functional areas: environment, social causes, economics and resilience. 

Centers and Institutes

Innovation Center


Advanced Superconductor Manufacturing Institute (ASMI) >

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) >

Subsea Systems Institute (SSI) >

Center for Advanced Computing and Data Systems (CACDS) >

Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH) >

Texas Center for Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics (TIMES) >

Start-ups in Energy

UH emphasizes entrepreneurship and innovation to translate fundamental and applied advances in energy systems to the marketplace. From the recovery of rare earth metals to applying materials to improve the energy efficiency of devices, from developing anti-dust coatings for solar panels to developing water filtration technologies for the reuse of produced waters, our student inventors and faculty experts are engaged in finding cost-effective solutions to real world challenges. The University is uniquely positioned to advance start-up and commercial activity through our Energy Research Park. This physical infrastructure, along with our culture of entrepreneurship, gives us the winning combination for energy-related innovation.

Energy Innovators

  • Saving Your Surfaces with Integricote

    Integricote is the first nanotechnology company created at the University of Houston, with its protective sealers and stains for wood, masonry and concrete manufactured at The Spur and distributed by Binford Supply, a Dallas-based construction supply firm, under the name CaraPro.
  • REEcycle Reclaims Rare Earth Elements

    Through a technology transfer program started at the university in August 2013, the team was introduced to the rare earth reclamation process and the inventors. After discovering commercial opportunities for the technology, REEcycle obtained an exclusive license to the IP from the University of Houston.

By the Numbers

  • 11National Academies of Inventors Members
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  • 25Research Centers

Industry Partnership Opportunities

UH values its partnerships with industry – to train the next generation of the energy workforce, to continue to raise the skill levels of those in the industry and to provide cutting edge, real world solutions to complex industrial challenges. We sponsor a variety of events to showcase our research, including Research First Look and Lunch-and-Learn sessions organized with corporate partners. We have also advanced master research agreements with companies to provide a structure for our strategic partnerships. UH has robust and progressive intellectual property policies to augment our research partnerships.

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Subsea Systems Institute

The Subsea Systems Institute (SSI) was established in 2015 as a Texas Center of Excellence under the RESTORE Act and collaboration between the University of Houston, Rice University and the Johnson Space Center (NASA). In addition, the SSI and the University of Houston has partnerships with the Lone Star Community College, Texas Southwest University, Houston Community College, and other colleges to lead research and develop training and educational programs to accelerate energy related workforce development in critical areas for the state of Texas.

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