|Submission Date||April 3, 2022|
University of Texas at Arlington
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research
|3.00 / 4.00||
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
A brief description of the student sustainability research program:
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. 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. 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. CREST faculty members have close ties with institutions such as Sandia National Labs, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and SPRING (Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, comprised of UT Arlingon, UT Austin, UT Dallas, UT Brownsville, UT Pan American, University of Houston and Rice University). CREST faculty also work with the Arlington Technology Incubator for technology transfer and commercialization.
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
• 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.
Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:
Interdisciplinary Research Program (IRP)
The Interdisciplinary Research Program is intended to advance interdisciplinary research at UTA in alignment with the guiding themes of the Strategic Plan: Health and the Human Condition, Sustainable Communities, Global Environmental Impact, Data-Driven Discovery, and Cultural Understanding and Social Transformations.
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 within one year after the award ends.
Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
Liaison librarians provide support for research and teaching for the subject areas associated with sustainability research, including Elle Covington (liaison to CAPPA) and Martin Wallace (liaison to Engineering). Collections budgets also allow for purchases of or subscriptions to materials to be used for research in these areas.
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.
Covers all aspects of the human impact on the environment. It includes scholarly, government & general interest titles relating to global climate change, green building, renewable energy, pollution and recycling.
Library also serves on the Sustainability Committee on Campus, participates in the Faculty Advisory Network on Sustainability to assess the needs of the faculty and what books they would like to access.
Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.