The Rutgers Energy Institute is engaged in four principal areas of activity: education of undergraduate and graduate students; pioneering research; outreach to the community to share information and engage the public; and policy advice to government, business, and civic leaders who require current knowledge about energy use, alternatives, and innovations to guide decision-making and public planning.
Each of these four areas is critical to the overall mission of the institute: to foster both fundamental and applied scientific research and policy research to develop sustainable energy production compatible with economic growth and environmental vitality.
Paul Falkowski Awarded Prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Sciences
The 2018 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement – often described as the ‘Nobel Prize for the Environment’ – has been awarded to Paul Falkowski and James J. McCarthy, for their decades of leadership in understanding – and communicating – the impacts of climate change. Paul Falkowski is a Rutgers distinguished professor in the departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Marine and Coastal Sciences as well as director of the Rutgers Energy Institute. James J. McCarthy is from the Department of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University.
REI Summer Internship 2018
The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) offers summer internships to a select group of motivated undergraduate students. They are intended to help students understand the breadth of the energy challenge, from the environmental impacts that motivate the transition, to the technological innovation needed to create a viable new system and the socio-economic, policy and energy system frameworks necessary to enable wide-spread deployment. To that end, REI will support students working on independent research projects that address more than one of these elements: for example, examining novel solar photovoltaic technologies and how they might be integrated into the grid, or the geological potential of carbon sequestration and political barriers to its deployment.
You may apply if you are currently an undergraduate freshman, sophomore, or junior at any school in Rutgers University. No previous research experience is necessary, and you do not need to be a science or engineering major to apply. Students are expected to work 40 hours/week for the duration of the program, so participation is not compatible with attending summer school.
Application Submission Guidelines
Internships are competitive with awards based on recommendations and research plans.
- Candidates should submit a 1-2 page research plan detailing both the work to be carried out over the summer and the broader research agenda of which the summer study forms a part. The plan should clearly indicate how the broader research agenda addresses both scientific/engineering and societal/policy aspects of a topic in energy research, as well as the major research questions or hypotheses being investigated. Students are required to develop this plan in cooperation with a faculty advisor. Projects that include multiple faculty advisors, with expertise spanning both scientific/engineering and societal/policy aspects, are encouraged, but one of the advisors must be identified as the student's primary advisor for the summer work.
- A total of two recommendations are required, with one from the project faculty advisor (Rutgers faculty) and one additional faculty member (Rutgers or non-Rutgers). Please have them sent directly from the recommenders for confidentiality.
The REI internship programs runs for 12 weeks, from May 28th through August 14th, 2018. All students are required to write an original article describing their research due in late August and present a poster of their work at the annual REI Symposium during the spring semester. Participants will receive support in the amount of $5000 (40 hours/week is expected for full payment). REI does not pay for housing.
Submission of application materials must be emailed (PDF files only) or mailed by the March 9, 2018 deadline.
Please send to REI:
71 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Attn: Beatrice Birrer
Please contact REI Program Coordinator Beatrice Birrer with any questions.
Five Year Strategic Plan for Rutgers Energy Institute
Access to affordable clean energy is indispensable to the economic vitality of the nation, the health of its inhabitants, and the biodiversity of the planet. Its pervasive influence on all aspects of human activity, determines the range of opportunities in which citizens can participate, from local to global. The paths forward towards decarbonizing our energy sources require participation from scientists, engineers, economists, policy researchers, businesses, as well as an informed public.
Over the past decade, the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) has provided a forum for discussion of issues and seed money for faculty, students and professional staff (from facilities, transportation, and procurement) to collaboratively work together to foster new research and educational experiences. The result has been a phenomenal growth of the University’s research portfolio on energy writ large. However, the value of the REI is not simply monetary – it has developed an interactive forum across the schools that has enabled new collaborations to blossom, and both new energy policy frameworks and technological advances to be achieved. The REI has been instrumental in developing new courses and providing information about energy-related curricula for undergraduate and graduate students. Through seminars, symposia and virtual media, the REI also helps the broader community to understand the complexities of transforming our nation’s energy generation in coming decades.
Clean Energy - The grand challenge of the 21st century
The REI was designed to meet this challenge through innovative basic and applied research, education, outreach and advice to policy makers.
The REI has five core, interlinked themes, cutting across school boundaries. These themes do not represent the breadth of the expertise of REI faculty; rather, they are areas of crosscutting strengths and opportunities that are fertile ground for collaborations and are critical to decarbonizing energy supplies in the coming decades.
These themes are:
2. Nanomaterials, Photovoltaics, and Storage
3. Bioenergy and Bioproducts
4. Carbon-Negative Technologies
5. Energy Economics, Environment, and Policy Systems
The five themes represent current strengths and are topics in which REI has invested, and will continue to invest resources with reasonable expectation of fostering successful external funding.
The REI Five Year Strategic Plan 2017-2022 document outlines a vision for the Institute that will help build upon our existing strengths and promote Rutgers’ faculty to becoming global leaders in these areas.
The Energy Innovation Contest 2017-2018
for Rutgers New Brunswick Undergraduate Students
Sponsored by The Rutgers Energy Institute
The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) is hosting its annual energy competition intended to engage students in devising creative and innovative solutions in reducing energy wasted at Rutgers. "Energy Innovation" is the challenge for this 2018 competition.
Presently, student, staff and faculty use of the standing buildings and infrastructure of the Rutgers campus complex at New Brunswick/Piscataway accounts for approximately 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere each year. Factoring in commuting students, faculty, and staff, and the total emissions are increased to an estimated 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. One goal of the Rutgers Energy Institute is to work with students, faculty and staff across the campus complex to reduce our carbon foot print and make the university carbon neutral.
To develop an implementable plan reducing student energy consumption on campus as well as promoting awareness about smarter eco-friendly practices across campus. Students must demonstrate how energy can be conserved by creating innovative solutions to common energy expenditures.
Three awards ($2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place) will be awarded to undergraduate students or teams who have submitted energy reduction plans selected to be the most innovative, practical, and low-cost solutions by a panel composed of faculty chosen by the REI Advisory Board.
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