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Solar Energy Research Conference at Rensselaer draws solar experts from around the world
Date:11/10/2011

technology could result in a revolution in solar technology. It was the vast potential of solar energy research that inspired Thomas R. Baruch, a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees and an alumnus of the Class of 1960, to help establish the Baruch Center at Rensselaer in 2008.

"My wife, Johanna, and I share the belief that meeting the global demand for energy will be a daunting task achievable via a technology revolution based on using plentiful solar energy with far-reaching efficiency," Baruch said. "Real breakthroughs will come from talented researchers applying multidisciplinary approaches and innovative research tools. We are very lucky to witness these new ideas here at the Baruch '60 Center and at Rensselaer today, where we are joined by exceptional talent in the field of natural and artificial photosynthesis."

"The Baruch '60 Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research is critical to the future success of the School of Science at Rensselaer. It is both a research and educational resource, producing breakthrough discoveries at the interface of fundamental and applied science, and educating the next generation of energy pioneers," according to Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer.

The two-day conference included invited lectures that covered photosynthetic processes from the solar-driven splitting of water molecules to the production of hydrogen and CO2 reduction as well as the development of bio-inspired technologies to emulate these processes in man-made devices.

"We felt that the time was right to hold a conference that highlighted research at the interface between natural photosynthesis and what is commonly referred to as artificial photosynthesis," said Golbeck. "Nature has had 3.5 billion years to craft efficient conversion of light to chemical bond energy, and the lessons that have been learned provide a roadmap to the synthesis of artificial photosynthetic systems. Conversely, the problems encountered an
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Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
demarg@rpi.edu
518-276-6542
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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