Grant Aims to Accelerate Utah’s Energy Solutions Through University Collaboration and Student Innovation

The Energy Research Triangle, a partnership between the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2017 grant programs. 

Now in its third cohort, the ERT program offers two competitive grants, including the ERT-Professor and the ERT-Scholars grants. 

“The ERT-Professor grant incentivizes Utah’s universities to collaborate, stimulating innovative solutions for Utah’s energy challenges while fostering emerging technologies,” says Ivy Estabrooke PhD, executive director of USTAR. “At the same time, ERT-Scholars creates a pipeline of talent for Utah’s energy industry by awarding highly-motivated young scientists who are passionate about making real changes in the way Utah thinks about energy.”

The ERT-Professor grant requires at least three Utah universities to collaborate on an issue specific to Utah’s energy and natural resource landscape. The ERT-Scholars grant encourages training of Utah’s next generation of energy researchers.

“ERT continues to support Governor Gary R. Herbert’s vision for accelerating Utah-based solutions to power our energy future,” said Laura Nelson Ph.D., the Governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. 

2017 winners for the ERT-Professor grant include:

Pollutant Source Detector – “GC-MS Organic aerosol monitor: air-quality impact of the oil and gas industry.” Project team Marc Mansfield, Utah State University (Lead); Jaron Hansen, Brigham Young University and Ryan Thalman, Snow College. 

Lower-Cost Solar Panels – “Solution deposition of CdTe for thin-film photvoltaics.” Project team Michael Scarpulla, Univeristy of Utah (Lead); John Colton, Brigham Young University and Kristin Rabosky, Weber State.

Smart EV Charging – “Automated monitoring and control of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.” Project team Masood Parvania, University of Utah (Lead); Regan Zane, Utah State University and John Salmon, Brigham Young University. 

2017 winners for the ERT-Scholars grant include:

Water-energy Efficiency– “Integrated energy-water efficiency and optimization in smart cities.” Konstantinos Oikonomou, University of Utah

Produced Water Treatment– “Produced water treatment process.” 

Jennifer Calderon, University of Utah 

Lithium ion batteries– “High-efficiency metal chalcogenide cathodes for battery application.”

Casey Hawkins, University of Utah

Smarter Fracking – “Predicting fracture response using a shale heterogeneity index – new technology for efficient resource development”

Aubry DeReuil, University of Utah