Nearly 130 participants attended the inaugural symposium of the Texas A&M Energy Institute on January 20, 2015. Following opening remarks by the Vice President for Research, Dr. Glen A. Laine, the vision and mission of the Texas A&M Energy Institute were presented by Professor Floudas: “Our mission is to pursue and support new approaches for multi-disciplinary energy research, education, and external partnerships. These approaches cross departmental and college boundaries and address all facets of the energy landscape that naturally connect engineering, sciences, technologies, economics, law, and policy decisions. We will engage students, post-doctoral associates, research staff, and faculty members towards the study and development of innovative technologies and policies for energy production and energy conservation to meet societal needs.” The colleges of Engineering, Science, Agricultural & Life Sciences, Geosciences, Architecture, Liberal Arts, the Bush School and Mays Business School were represented at the symposium, where faculty self-selected break-out sessions to discuss and identify 3-5 of the most important research topics or goals in each research area. The six break-out sessions included:
- Fossil-based technologies for energy & energy economics, policy, law and societal impact
- Renewable technologies for energy & energy economics, policy, law and societal impact
- Energy storage: materials and technologies
- Energy efficiency & energy economics, policy, law and societal impact
- Carbon capture, utilization, and storage & energy economics, policy, law and societal impact
- Multi-scale analysis, simulation, synthesis and optimization of energy systems & energy economics, policy, law and societal impact
Professor Floudas also outlined the Texas A&M Energy Institute’s goal to educate the next generation of leaders in energy through its new professional “Master of Science in Energy” degree program and the “Certificate in Energy” program.
The First Research Proposal Call was issued by the Energy Institute, whereby the institute’s faculty affiliates are invited to submit proposals for innovative interdisciplinary energy research collaborations to support groups of researchers working on important energy-related topics.