TEMPE, Ariz. A new effort at Arizona State University to educate and train students in renewable and solar energy is receiving backing by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through its Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, the NSF is providing $3 million to ASU to help develop a doctoral program in energy and to equip students with the skills needed to find solutions to the energy challenges of the future by establishing the Solar Utilization Network (SUN) IGERT program.
"ASU is taking a leadership role regarding research, education and policy issues in renewable energy utilization," said ASU President Michael Crow. "We are working at the leading edge of transforming our society from a fossil-fuel-focused energy consumer to a sustainable, renewable-energy based consumer."
The IGERT SUN program will focus on four key research areas including biological conversion, photovoltaics, solar thermal, and sustainable policy. Over a period of five years, some 24 graduate students will complete in-depth core courses in these four SUN research concentrations, as well as conduct research and interact with local, national, and international sustainable energy stakeholders. The program will provide the groundwork necessary to create an Energy Ph.D. by 2016, offered through ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability.
"At ASU, we are strong in three important areas: biological energy conversion, photovoltaics, and solar thermal energy conversion," said Willem Vermaas, Foundation Professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and lead scientist in the program. "Because we have those three, we are in a unique position to say, 'Now let's train students so they are not only experts in those areas, but also so they can understand the pros and cons of the various ways of creating alternative energy.' We also need to teach them about the social, environmental and economic contexts
|Contact: Sandra Leander|
Arizona State University