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Meeting the Energy Challenges of New Jersey and the Nation

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) integrates Rutgers’ expertise in science, engineering, economics, and policy, putting it at the forefront of alternative energy research. At this critical juncture in history, we have the opportunity to transition from 20th-century technologies to those that sustain economic growth and preserve the integrity of our environment.

about REI

Latest Announcements

Rutgers Professors Receive Fulbright Grants for Research and Teaching Abroad
Eric Lam, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, and  director of the Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and the Environment, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University¬–New Brunswick, received a Fulbright Grant for research and teaching in Brazil.  Eric Lam, also a member of the Rutgers Energy Institute, will continue his work on improving biofuel production by enhancing plant sources. Learn more
Robert Kopp selected as a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow
Robert Kopp, associate professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences and associate director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, has been named a 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellow for his exceptional scientific qualifications, demonstrated leadership ability, and strong interest in sharing his knowledge beyond traditional academic audiences. Learn more
The Energy Innovation Contest 2014-2015

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 2015 competition.  

The Goal:
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 make the university carbon neutral by 2030.

The Challenge:
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.

Enrolled undergraduate students in any program on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus are eligible. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible. Register for the competition by sending an email indicating intent to submit an entry to Beatrice Birrer at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it no later than February 27, 2015.

Submission Date:
Proposals should be submitted on or before March 23, 2015 via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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.  

REI Energy Policy Seminar Series - Fall 2014

On September 3, 2014 the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (BSPPP) will commence the academic year with it's Energy Policy Seminar Series presenting its own Bob Kopp, Associate Director, Rutgers Energy Institute, speaking on "The American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States".

  • 9/3 - Bob Kopp (Associate Director, Rutgers Energy Institute, and Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University).
Leaders from various arenas in the energy policy field will be speaking at Rutgers University on the following dates:
  • 10/24David Morrow (Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham) will speak on "Climate engineering and the future of energy policy"
  • 11/7 - Andrew Zwicker (Head,Science Education, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) will speak on "The Physics of Politics"
  • 11/14Jason Schwartz (Legal Director, NYU Institute for Policy Integrity)
  • 11/20 - Juan Carlos Ciscar (Scientific Officer of the European Commission) will speak on "Modeling climate impacts in Europe, the JRC PESETA II project"
  • 12/3 - Mini-Panel: Biogas and Advanced Biofuels — the future of transportation fuels? with David Babson (AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow) and Zane Helsel (Specialist in Agriculture Energy, Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, NJAES) Babson Bio/ Abstract. Helsel Bio/Abstract

Unless otherwise noted lectures start at 10:30AM (with refreshments at 10:00AM) on Cook Campus,  Marine & Coastal Sciences, Alampi Room.

New REI Graduate Student and Post-doctoral positions

students_in_lab.jpgThe Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) at Rutgers University offers support for Graduate Students and  Postdoctoral Associates in the broad area of energy research: basic and applied science, engineering, economics, and policy.

The REI will support third year graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows working on multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects that address more than one element of energy research.The research must clearly be related to the REI goals and show further prospects of funding.

Each fellowship appointment will be one year and comes with one year of direct cost support. Prospective candidates are expected to pursue creative research avenues within existing research programs and faculty expertise. Applications can be submitted by faculty for consideration on an ongoing basis. However, new openings are available as early as Spring 2015.

Applications should include a statement of research interests that clearly coordinates with Rutgers Energy Institute’s research program, curriculum vitae, and 3 references (two from PI’s collaborating on interdisciplinary energy research). They should be emailed to Dr. Paul Falkowski (Director, Rutgers Energy Institute): This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (please include "Grad Student" or  “Postdoc” in the subject line).

Rutgers Chemists Develop Technology to Produce Clean-Burning Hydrogen Fuel

teddy-asefa.jpgNew catalyst based on carbon nanotubes may rival cost-prohibitive platinum for reactions that split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Rutgers researchers have developed a technology that could overcome a major cost barrier to make clean-burning hydrogen fuel – a fuel that could replace expensive and environmentally harmful fossil fuels. electrolysis catalyst Image: Tewodros Asefa A new technology based on carbon nanotubes promises commercially viable hydrogen production from water.

The new technology is a novel catalyst that performs almost as well as cost-prohibitive platinum for so-called electrolysis reactions, which use electric currents to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The Rutgers technology is also far more efficient than less-expensive catalysts investigated to-date.

“Hydrogen has long been expected to play a vital role in our future energy landscapes by mitigating, if not completely eliminating, our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Tewodros (Teddy) Asefa, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Arts and Sciences. “We have developed a sustainable chemical catalyst that, we hope with the right industry partner, can bring this vision to life.”



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