Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.27
Liaison Meghna Tare
Submission Date July 12, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Texas at Arlington
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Meghna Tare
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

The Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology (CREST) coordinates research, development, and technology transfer in the area of renewable energy at the University of Texas at Arlington. Energy has been listed as humanity’s number one problem for the next 50 years
by several agencies. The U. S. Department of Energy projects (http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo) that the world’s total energy consumption will rise by 54% between 2001 and 2025. This projected increase may be an underestimation due to the rapid economic development in heavily populated
countries like India and China. To meet our future energy needs, we must develop alternative energy sources because (a) the fossil fuel reserve will not be sufficient to meet
the demand beyond 2050; and (b) an over-reliance on fossil fuels (many of them are located in politically unstable regions in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin
America) has both environmental and political implications as highlighted in recent events.

Recognizing the importance of this critical problem, many individual faculty members and students on campus have been active on various aspects of energy research and development, and these activities are supported by various funding agencies. However, CREST has the overarching goal of bringing together these dispersed activities under one
organizational umbrella. It coordinates the research and development efforts of various faculty members on campus and lead to focused multidisciplinary research teams
pursuing a common theme within the energy framework. It also provides a centralized facility with state-of-the-art instrumentation to enable cutting-edge energy research and
development. Examples of major activities in energy research and development currently under the CREST umbrella on campus include:
• Methods for hydrogen generation using renewable energy sources (e.g., sunlight
and water)
• Materials for energy conversion and storage (e.g., carbon nanotubes, permanent
magnets, advanced photocatalysts)
• Solar photovoltaic devices (e.g. organic, composite, inorganic, quantum-well, and
nanoparticle solar cells)
• Magnetic energy storage devices (magnetocaloric effect)
• Arc reformation of methane and pulsed detonation energy source
• Integrated resource planning and distributed generation schemes
• Novel analytical methods for characterization of energy materials and devices
• Wind, hydro, and tidal sources
• Energy system and power grid integration
• Fuel cells
• Biomass and solar thermal energy conversion
The Center draws faculty teams from major research programs in Chemistry,
Electrical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering, and the NanoFab Center. It also acts as a recruiting vehicle for new faculty members, thereby adding value to its current activities and bringing a critical mass of researchers, instrumentation, and infrastructure together in a cooperative
enterprise. Collaborations extend beyond campus via the close ties already existing between the CREST faculty and institutions such as Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, NM, National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, and SPRING partners (Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, including UT Austin, UT Dallas, UT Brownsville, UT Pan American, and Rice University). The CREST faculty work with the Arlington Technology Incubator for technology transfer and commercialization. CREST serves as a center of excellence in energy research and development in the State of Texas. The center offers students an opportunity to learn cutting edge technology as it applied to renewable energy and Sustainability. The technologies and intellectual properties that will accrue from this major initiative will promote local and regional economic development by spawning spin-off companies and technology licensing. It will serve to catalyze the evolution of UTA into a major comprehensive research university.


The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

The Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology (CREST) coordinates research, development, and technology transfer in the area of renewable energy at the University of Texas at Arlington. Energy has been listed as humanity’s number one problem for the next 50 years by several agencies. The U. S. Department of Energy projects (http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo) that the world’s total energy consumption will rise by 54% between 2001 and 2025. This projected increase may be an underestimation due to the rapid economic development in heavily populated
countries like India and China. To meet our future energy needs, we must develop alternative energy sources because (a) the fossil fuel reserve will not be sufficient to meet
the demand beyond 2050; and (b) an over-reliance on fossil fuels (many of them are located in politically unstable regions in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Latin
America) has both environmental and political implications as highlighted in recent events.

Recognizing the importance of this critical problem, many individual faculty members and students on campus have been active on various aspects of energy research and development, and these activities are supported by various funding agencies. However, CREST has the overarching goal of bringing together these dispersed activities under one
organizational umbrella. It coordinates the research and development efforts of various faculty members on campus and lead to focused multidisciplinary research teams
pursuing a common theme within the energy framework. It also provides a centralized facility with state-of-the-art instrumentation to enable cutting-edge energy research and
development. Examples of major activities in energy research and development currently under the CREST umbrella on campus include:
• Methods for hydrogen generation using renewable energy sources (e.g., sunlight
and water)
• Materials for energy conversion and storage (e.g., carbon nanotubes, permanent
magnets, advanced photocatalysts)
• Solar photovoltaic devices (e.g. organic, composite, inorganic, quantum-well, and
nanoparticle solar cells)
• Magnetic energy storage devices (magnetocaloric effect)
• Arc reformation of methane and pulsed detonation energy source
• Integrated resource planning and distributed generation schemes
• Novel analytical methods for characterization of energy materials and devices
• Wind, hydro, and tidal sources
• Energy system and power grid integration
• Fuel cells
• Biomass and solar thermal energy conversion
The Center draws faculty teams from major research programs in Chemistry,
Electrical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering, and the NanoFab Center. It also acts as a recruiting vehicle for new faculty members, thereby adding value to its current activities and bringing a critical mass of researchers, instrumentation, and infrastructure together in a cooperative enterprise. Collaborations extend beyond campus via the close ties already existing between the CREST faculty and institutions such as Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, NM, National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO, and SPRING partners (Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, including UT Austin, UT Dallas, UT Brownsville, UT Pan American, and Rice University). The CREST faculty work with the Arlington Technology Incubator for technology transfer and commercialization. CREST serves as a center of excellence in energy research and development in the State of Texas. The technologies and intellectual properties that will accrue from this
major initiative will promote local and regional economic development by spawning spin-off companies and technology licensing. It will serve to catalyze the evolution of
UTA into a major comprehensive research university.


The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:
Has the institution formally adopted policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A brief description or the text of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:

The Office of the President is pleased to launch the Interdisciplinary Research Program (IRP). The IRP is intended to advance interdisciplinary research at UTA in alignment with the four guiding themes of the strategic plan: Health and the Human Condition, Sustainable Urban Communities, Global Environmental Impact, and Data-Driven Discovery. As these guiding themes are inherently interdisciplinary, this program fosters the necessary work across campus to improve our ability to effectively compete for major extramural research grant funding on these topics. As such, the IRP gives preference to proposals that span interdisciplinary work across groups that don’t typically collaborate. A requirement of IRP award recipients is submission of at least one interdisciplinary research proposal to an extramural funding source by the end of the award period.


The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:
Does the institution provide ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's library support for sustainability research and learning:

To support UT Arlington’s campus initiatives on sustainability and the new minor in sustainability studies, University Libraries staff members have created several informative topic and research guides. These guides pull together resources pertaining to this broad subject to help students and faculty with their research. The staff is also available for one-on-one assistance on any of the library resources and services.

General Sustainability Guide: http://libguides.uta.edu/sustainability

Climate Change Topic Guide: http://libguides.uta.edu/climatechange

Environmental Engineering Subject Guide: http://libguides.uta.edu/ENVENG

Interdisciplinary Research in Environmental and Sustainability Studies Guide: http://libguides.uta.edu/ESS


The website URL where information about the institution's library support for sustainability is available:

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