We at the U-M Energy Institute hope that all of our colleagues and affiliates are staying safe and healthy in this difficult time. Like many units, UMEI is working remotely under the University of Michigan’s guidelines following Governor Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. We are planning the coming year’s activities but designing the plans so that UMEI-sponsored events can be conducted remotely should restrictions remain in place.
Earth Day at 50 events online
The university had planned a wide range of events to mark this year’s 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day on April 22, for which the original teach-ins were initiated here at U-M Ann Arbor. Most Commemorative Week of Action events took place during the week of March 9-14, before the COVID-19 restrictions were needed, including a teach-in on auto efficiency sponsored by UMEI.
A number of remaining events have moved online; visit the University of Michigan’s Earth Day at 50 website for updates. You can also join the ongoing Earth Day at 50 Teach-Out online, which includes a segment on energy storage by Greg Less of the U-M Battery Lab.
Department of Energy support for Ph.D. student research
DOE’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program provides supplemental funds for current Ph.D. students to conduct part of their thesis research at a national laboratory or other DOE host facility. The research must be within one of the many priority research areas designated for the program. Further information and a link for applications is available on the SCGSR program page; applications are due on May 6, 2020.
New DOE funding programs on direct air capture of CO2
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $22 million of funding for research to develop materials and technologies for capturing carbon dioxide directly from ambient air. One program is from the Office of Science for work at national laboratories, who can partner with university researchers and others; see announcement LAB-20-2023, which has a closing date of May 11, 2020. The other program is from the Office of Fossil Energy and can directly support research at universities, nonprofits and industry; see announcement DE-FOA-0002188, which has a due date of May 29, 2020.
Clean Energy Trust (CET) University Accelerator
This program is a new business start-up accelerator that supports student entrepreneurs working on impactful cleantech solutions. Selected teams will be connected with industry advisors and receive hands-on support and pitch coaching from the experienced CET team to help more quickly build their business. The CET University Accelerator takes place remotely during the summer and culminates in a demo day in the fall, where teams will showcase their businesses to cleantech ecosystem stakeholders and compete for cash prize awards. Find more information at this link.