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UB Energy Diversification Initiative

The UB Energy Diversification Initiative will address critical national energy needs through a strategic initiative in faculty and facilities.

The UB Energy Diversification Initiative will achieve this through four areas of focus:

  1. Energy infrastructure (generation, transmission, and storage)
  2. Energy policy and law
  3. The business of energy
  4. Energy education

Additional objectives include:

  • Inventory UB’s energy efforts and establish a web portal highlighting the ongoing energy research and educational programs on campus
  • Hire faculty in critical areas that build on current excellence in faculty scholarship in energy research so that large-scale multidisciplinary grants can be secured and research productivity increased.
  • Engage federal, state and industry partners by emphasizing research areas compatible with their needs.
  • Establish an annual UB Energy Conference, and specialized workshops in energy.
  • Establish visiting scientist programs with sponsorship from the Department of Energy (DOE) and industry.
  • Facilitate the establishment of joint energy curricula across the institution.
  • Regionalize these efforts by establishing joint programs/efforts with local schools, such as Buffalo State’s smart energy lab, and others.
  • Establish an Energy Diversification Institute from non-recurring seed funds to facilitate all the above objectives. Develop a business plan such that the Institute can become financial sound, sustainable, and a magnet for additional high-quality faculty recruitment.

Strategy

Through the proposed initiative, UB will lead the reinvigoration of the energy economy in Western New York.  In addition, this initiative will focus on the marketing of the existing academic excellence at UB that is already focused on energy research and ensure that the energy theme permeates all aspects of research and education at UB (degree programs, undergraduate research, work-force development, etc.).  The Energy Diversification Initiative will position UB as a though leader and thus enable us to obtain large grants, attract conferences, and build relationships via a visiting DOE and industry scholars program.

Metrics for Success

The initiative’s success will be measured by the recruitment of new faculty and the establishment of this energy diversification team; by the end of the three years of funding, the goal will be to have recruited eight additional faculty across the schools and the College:  CAS, SEAS, SOM, and SOL.  These faculty will attract and obtain additional research funding from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, industrial support, and other funding agencies or sources.  The faculty will contribute to increased educational opportunities for our students across the academic disciplines.  The effort will be coordinated through the REDC subcommittee working on energy issues with the expectation that there will be spinoff of ideas and concepts to contribute to the energy business sector.  The initiative will be supported by a staff person who will facilitate the inventorying of all current energy efforts in order to build on existing strengths; will establish a web presence for the initiative; will support the increased research and educational activities of the initiative.