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Formation of Southeastern Wisconsin Energy Technology Research Center

MILWAUKEE – The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM), Marquette University, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) and several regional companies and foundations, announce the formation the Southeastern Wisconsin Energy Research Technology Center (SWETRC). The formation of SWETRC is historic on multiple fronts. It not only marks the first time that the colleges of engineering at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Marquette University, and MSOE are collaborating together on a major initiative, but it is the first time that the southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia based DOE’s NETL is sponsoring a major university-based research initiative in the Midwest. With primary facilities in Pittsburgh PA and Morgantown WV, NETL supports DOE’s mission of advancing the national, economic, and energy security in the US through implementation of a broad spectrum of energy and environmental research and development (R&D) programs that will return benefits for generations to come.

The mission of SWETRC is to develop an internationally recognized energy research center within Southeastern Wisconsin that is a joint partnership between NETL and regional industries, foundations, and universities. The goals of the center are to create an infrastructure and enterprise that is capable of competing at a national level for large-scale energy research funds, to perform cutting-edge research projects that will lead to breakthroughs in the energy field, and to develop state-of-the-art technology that will lead to new products and process that foster economic growth of regional companies.

Led by a contract from NETL, nearly $700,000 has been raised for seed research projects that will be used to launch SWETRC. In addition to NETL, several regional industries and foundations are providing funding to SWETRC including the Rockwell Automation Charitable Corporation, the Wisconsin Energy Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, Eaton Corporation, Kohler Corporation, American Transmission Company, and ReGENco.

SWETRC is pleased to announce grants to support the following seven research projects that involve researchers from universities and industries across the region:

New energy storage technologies and power converter topologies for wind turbines; PI Adel Nasiri from UWM in partnership with Marquette University, MSOE, ZBB Energy, JSR Micro Inc, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Eaton Corporation.

High Capacity Li-Ion Batteries Based on SnO2 Nanoparticles, PI Junhong Chen from UWM in partnership with Marquette, Louisiana State University (LSU), Johnson Controls (JCI), and Argonne National Laboratory.

CO2 Recycling and Sequestration via Algae Grown with Coal-Fueled Power Plant Flue Gas, PI Carol Hirschmugle from UWM in partnership with Marquette University, MSOE, Università Polytechnica delle Marche, ITALY, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and We Energies.

Ultra efficient Si/SiGe nanowire thermoelectric materials for converting waste heat to electrical energy, PI Chung Hoon Lee from Marquette in partnership with UWM, Rockwell Automation, and Kholer Company.

Developing a Business Case for Sustainable Asset Renewal of Existing Buildings, PI Carol Diggelman from MSOE in partnership with Marquette, UWM, and Johnson Controls.

Probabilistic Methods for High Wind Penetrated Power Systems, PI Joe Bockhorst from UWM in partnership with American Transmission Company, 3Tier, and Invenergy LLC.

Design of Cost-competitive, Fuel-flexible, Low NOx Burners with a Range of Firing Rates, PI Jon Koch from Marquette in partnership with UWM and A. O. Smith Corporation.