Medlock said balancing the goals of energy security and sustainability is critical to ensuring the welfare of future generations.
"Energy demands and the environmental impacts of energy development and use are now a central theme in policy discourse, largely due to the rapid growth of domestic shale gas and shale oil production," Medlock said. "Understanding the consequence of actions taken today on future generations is critical to understanding the direction of energy prices, fuel choice and environmental impact, all of which are vital to formulating informed policy."
Alvarez said part of E2I's initial focus will include the enhanced discovery and recovery of conventional hydrocarbons as well as the responsible development of shale gas and unconventional hydrocarbons. In all of these areas, innovative technologies that increase the efficiency and performance of both hydrocarbons and water processing are vital -- a broad topic termed the "water-energy nexus."
"Water is used either directly or indirectly in virtually every form of energy production and generation, and a significant fraction of urban energy demand relates to treating and moving water," said Alvarez, an award-winning environmental engineer and member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board. "We can significantly change the impact of energy production and use by applying the latest developments in biotechnology, adaptation and nanotechnology to the problems of water."
E2I will also spur new technical research in fields as diverse as nanotechnology, geophysics and computer science.
"The search for oil and gas relies heavily on supercomputers, and Rice's faculty have long been at the forefront of computational geophysics and computer science," said Levander, faculty director of the DAVinCI project's new Chevron Visualization Laboratory, a 3-D visualizat
|Contact: David Ruth|