UW News

February 18, 2010

New Web site showcases UW energy-related research

Helping UW scientists compete more effectively for energy-related research projects is one goal of a Universitywide Web site just unveiled. “Energy Research at the University of Washington,” includes work by more than 65 faculty members.

“The U.S. Department of Energy, for instance, is slated to receive increased funding over the next few years and we expect a number of new initiatives — some large, some small — to be announced,” says Mary Lidstrom, UW vice provost for research. “The Web site will help teams form to address cross-cutting research areas.”

The Office of Research offered to lead the development effort after a task force of UW energy researchers suggested the advantages of a centralized Web site. Providing advice on the site were faculty and staff from the College of the Environment, College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences as well as representatives from corporate and foundation relations.

Expected users include faculty and industry partners looking for collaborators as well as students looking for classes or research opportunities focused on energy issues. Early feedback from faculty shows lots of enthusiasm and interest about the site, Lidstrom says.

The breadth of UW energy research is apparent in the three researchers featured on the homepage when the site was launched.

  • Chemical engineering’s Daniel Schwartz represents UW scientists involved in energy “Efficiency,” making the best of limited resources, and “Storage,” including new ways of storing or transporting energy. Schwartz’s research, for instance, includes work on factors that limit hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Biochemistry’s David Baker’s research into clean energy includes the design of proteins and hybrids of proteins and small molecules for use in hydrogen production and utilization. That work represents UW’s efforts in energy “Generation.”
  • Marine Affair’s Ed Miles, an expert on how climate variability and change might affect such things as ecosystems, water resources and human health, is an example of UW expertise under the heading “Impacts,” where research concerns how energy use and policy choices affect us.

Other faculty come from disciplines ranging from forest resources to polar science to material science.

Those with ideas of other UW researchers or areas of expertise that might fit on the energy research page can send e-mail to research@u.washington.edu.