UW News

April 6, 2011

Solar research in the spotlight: Kane Hall event and live webcast on UWTV

UW News

The deans of Engineering, Arts & Sciences and the new College of the Environment will participate in a Tuesday evening lecture that shines a light on UW research in the area of solar energy.

The lecture and panel discussion, “A New Dawn for Solar Energy” is full, but an overflow room is available in Kane Hall and the event will be webcast live on www.uwtv.org from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Viewers can submit questions on Twitter (using hash tag #newdawn) or via email to uwartsci@uw.edu.

Ana Mari Cauce and Matt O'Donnell


Matt ODonnell, Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering, and Ana Mari Cauce, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and Earl R. Carlson Professor of Psychology, are the co-presenters. They will provide an overview of UW research in the areas of energy generation using organic solar cells; improved energy storage using engineered materials; and efficient use of energy through solid-state lighting technology built from molecularly engineered materials.

“We have one of the premier institutions in the world in the area of advanced materials for solar energy,” ODonnell said. “That fact is not well known.”

“The idea behind this event is to get the word out and to get people on and off campus energized to work together, so we can have real societal impact.”

The presentation by Cauce and ODonnell will kick off a panel discussion between Lisa Graumlich, dean of the College of the Environment; Rick LeFaivre, partner at OVP Ventures and director of the UW Center for Commercializations New Ventures group; Denis Hayes, Bullitt Foundation president & CEO; Susannah Malarkey, Technology Alliance executive director; and moderator Jack Faris, Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute CEO. The speakers and panelists will then take questions from the audience.

Before the lecture, an invitation-only reception will bring together students, faculty and local business people who are interested in renewable-energy research. The companies represented will include EnerG2, a spinout from materials science and engineering professor Guozhong Caos lab that uses carbon-based nanotechnology to store energy, and Soluxra, a new startup from materials science professor Alex Jens lab that is developing flexible film to absorb solar energy.

The event will address how scientific research conducted in the lab leads to engineered solutions that eventually reach the marketplace.

“This is a wonderful example of how faculty and staff from different departments and colleges are coming together to find alternatives to our societys reliance on fossil fuels for energy,” Cauce said. “We believe this collaborative effort will result in bringing the advances that we see in the laboratory to real application in the field more quickly and efficiently than in the past. And, given the growing demands for energy across the world, every second counts.”

In addition to the live webcast, the lecture and panel discussion will be broadcast at a later date on UWTV.