UT Energy Bulletin | May 2022

Energy@UT News

Transportation Research Center Awarded Phase 2 NSF Grant

The University of Texas at Austin is part of a team of four universities that recently won a grant from the National Science Foundation for the second phase of their Industry-University Cooperative Research Center. The Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems (EVSTS) works closely with automobile makers to tackle pressing challenges of making vehicles more sustainable, connected and efficient. 
Meet the plastic-eating enzymes that can fully break down garbage in days 
Professor Hal Alper and research team published groundbreaking research in Nature about an enzyme that can quickly break down a common form of plastic to a molecular level. 

Read further: Fast Company, KXAN
Energy Seed Grant Program
Call for Proposals

The 2022-2023 Energy Seed Grant Program is a funding opportunity sponsored by the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin to spark new, impactful and collaborative research in any field of energy with an aim towards decarbonization and climate security. This opportunity is open to UT Austin researchers.  

Proposal Deadline: July 1, 2022
View Program Details
UT-SwRI Energize Program – Proposals Due June 1, 2022

The Southwest Research Institute is collaborating with UT Austin to provide research funding opportunities for topics related to energy, decarbonization and climate security. The opportunity is open to all UT-Austin faculty/staff with PI status.

Read more details here
News from Around Campus
  • Energy Institute: Dr. Carey King and research collaborators released a report detailing the impact of renewable electricity mixes on residential electricity costs, land-use, and carbon emissions via the Energy Futures Dashboard. Download the Report Here (PDF)
  • Energy Institute: When six power generation facilities totaling 2,900 megawatts of capacity tripped offline unexpectedly during hot weather on Friday, May 14th, solar generation continued to provide predictable and reliable power to the grid. Dr. Dave Tuttle comments in the Dallas Morning News.
  • Cockrell School: Dr. Joshua Rhodes and other electric grid experts said that it would be extremely unlikely for six power plants to unexpectedly trip off for unrelated reasons, so the recent outages suggest transmission congestion in ERCOT. Read the story.
  • Cockrell School | College of Natural Sciences: UT faculty will lead a team of up to 100 UT students to compete against 12 other universities in the EcoCAR EV Challenge. Over the four-year project, the teams will be tasked with engineering next-generation battery electric vehicles with autonomous features. Read more about the opportunity here: UT News 
  • Cockrell School: UT researchers, in collaboration with Vibrant Clean Energy and the University of Colorado, Boulder, released the Don’t Mess with Texas (PDF) report which details how Texas can decarbonize the state’s economy in under 30 years. Learn about the research in UT News and Axios Austin
  • Cockrell School: The University of Texas at Austin has doubled down on its reputation as “The Energy University” as the state-of-the-art Gary L. Thomas Energy Building opens. Learn how the new space will foster energy innovation: What Starts Here
  • Jackson School | Institute for Geophysics: UT scientists, including graduate student Shuai Yan and senior research scientist Donald Blankenship, led an international research team that discovered a huge lake under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Study of the lake, dubbed “Lake Snow Eagle,” has the potential to reveal new insight into the history and likely future of Antarctic ice. Read about the discovery: UT News 
  • Jackson School: Professor Timothy Shanahan and collaborators published research in Science finding that tropical forests are unlikely to expand significantly in response to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. “What our study shows is that CO2 plays, at least in the geologic record, a very small role,” says Shanahan. View the research summary: UT News 
  • UT Austin: University Housing and Dining has partnered with multiple organizations to make the Cool Food Pledge to cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. Read more about the University’s commitment here: CleanTechnica
  • H2@UT: The H2@Scale project launched in July 2020 is now positioned as a “hydrogen proto-hub" for Texas. With funding from the US Department of Energy and multiple corporate sponsors, the project is continuing to research the most cost-effective ways to build a hydrogen energy value chain to supplant fossil fuel energies. Read more: Utility Dive
Upcoming Events

GridNEXT 2022: Lubbock and Emerging Energy Technologies

May 31-June 1
Register for the conference and GLEAMM’s Workshop for Emerging Energy Technologies (WEET).  
Details and Registration


June 15 at noon CT: The Growing Power of the Grid Edge 

Hear from industry experts about how vendors and customers are increasingly interacting to shape the future grid. Speakers: Peter Kelly-Detwiler, NorthBridge Energy Partners and Vijay Betanabhatla, AutoGrid 
Register Here


Understand and Manage Methane Series 

This two-part, virtual course series gives participants an overview of the history of methane and the role of natural gas supply chains in global energy systems. Part Two of the course takes a deeper dive into technical aspects, such as methane certification, quantification and mitigation. Courses taught by world-renowned energy specialists, Professors David Allen and Michael Webber.

June 21-22: Part One
June 23-24: Part Two
Event Details

Apply to the Longhorn Impact Fellowship at Texas (LIFT)

Juniors, seniors, or graduate students interested in creating a more sustainable world may apply to become an impact consultant with the Longhorn Impact Fellowship at Texas (LIFT). Applications to join the Fall 2022 cohort are open now through July 15th.  
Apply Here

Academic Institute Partner for China LNG, Gas & Hydrogen 2022 
The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute has been chosen as the official Academic Institute Partner for China LNG, Gas & Hydrogen 2022. The international summit will convene stakeholders across the LNG value chain in Beijing, August 3-5, 2022. 
Read more
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