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News and Announcements

Mandela Washington Fellows at Rutgers

MWF smallThis summer, Rutgers University hosted its third cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows (MWF), the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa who have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities. New this year to Rutgers, is the addition of a Business and Entrepreneurship Institute, led by Kevin Lyons, on Decision Making for Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chains. Of the 40 Universities across the US who hosted MWF Institutes, Rutgers was one of only 3 to host two Institutes, and the only host university in New Jersey. In this intensive 6-week institute, the MWF Fellows examined many of the elements contributing to the adoption of sustainability strategies, such as legislations that penalize negative environmental and social impacts, and society’s expectations of business in terms of health, human rights, and the environment. Fellows were instructed in the basics and in the challenges for the energy and sustainability sectors in developing countries, sub-Saharan Africa in particular.

Instruction for the Institute was led by Kevin Lyons, the Academic Director, as well as Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute, and a core of faculty from the Center for Supply Chain Management at Rutgers Business School. Faculty from other schools and departments at Rutgers including the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, the School of Arts and Sciences (Chemistry), the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and the School of Engineering (Materials Science and Engineering). Guest speakers were invited from a range of businesses including small startups, venture capital groups, medium sized enterprises and large multinational corporations.

Lyons and ObamaREVThe in-class learning experience was supplemented with site visits concentrating on sustainable business models, innovation incubators and local energy business innovators. During the course, Fellows had the opportunity to visit a variety of facilities on campus including the Rutgers EcoComplex and other energy research laboratories in order to understand the entire process of moving sustainable technologies into the marketplace. Site visits also included sessions at Rutgers Business School in Newark and working with high school students in the Rutgers Business School High School Summer Program and the Governor’s School for Engineering and Technology. Many of the faculty and guest speakers who participated in the Institute are continuing to interact with the Fellows and hope to form lasting partnerships and collaborations.

For more information about the program, contact Johanna Bernstein.

(Dr. Kevin Lyons and President Barack Obama)

LaunchR - DOE Supported Clean Energy Startup Accelerator

DOE Supported Clean Energy Startup Accelerator

Who we are                                  

LaunchR is the Rutgers student-driven clean energy startup accelerator funded by the United States Department of Energy. We focus on connecting young, budding innovators in the green technology space with access to strategic networks, capital, and essential resources. In doing so, we seek to cultivate growth, accelerate progress, and help these innovations launch into the business world.

At the end of the program, expert judges will reward the most promising company in the program with a $50,000 prize.


Students/Startups that we are Looking For                                               

Acceptable technology areas include:


Building technologies, advanced manufacturing, vehicle technologies, federal energy management, weatherization and intergovernmental technologies, biomass technologies, geothermal technologies, fuel cells technologies, solar energy technologies, wind and hydropower technologies, and anything else clean and green!                                      

The Competition                                         

The U.S. Department of Energy Cleantech University Prize aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs and innovators by providing them with competitive funding for business development and commercialization training and other educational opportunities. We are one of 8 regions that have parallel contests offering $50K prizes. The top 3 teams in each region compete at the national level for $100K more. 2016 winning teams can be found here:

The Next Round                                 

We will be accepting team applications starting in December 2016.  Applications open until Friday, March 17th, 2017.


Wind Energy Class project takes top prize in Rutgers University's first LaunchR pitch competition

Three Rutgers students with ambitions of building a company around a new device for harvesting wind power won the top prize of $50,000 in a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored business pitch competition.

The students – David Talarico, Ryan Annibali and Antoni Milewski – will now advance to a national competition in Colorado. 

The winning technology is something Talarico, a doctoral mechanical engineering student, has been working on for six years. He originally came up with the idea for his senior project when he was an undergraduate.

Read more.

RU Sustainable Symposium: March 31, 2016

Join us for  Rutgers University's inaugural RU Sustainable Symposium March 31, 2016 at Livingston Student Center!

Come learn about sustainability efforts at Rutgers. Keynote by Leith Sharp, Director of Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership, Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment. Posters, student organization tabling and virtual tours during lunch.  Open to Rutgers students, faculty, and staff.  March 21st 5 pm deadline for students, faculty, staff to submit poster abstracts and student organizations to register for the tabling session.  To attend in person, register by 5 pm March 25th. Livestream will be available.  Sponsored by Rutgers University Sustainability Committee.  Complete details:

Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York Annual Symposium at Rutgers - March 23

The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan NY is pleased to announce its annual Spring Symposium being held on Wednesday, March 23, at Rutgers, New Brunswick. Details for the symposium, including the speaker list, can be found at

Through the generous sponsorship of this event by the Rutgers Sustainability Committee, all Rutgers-affiliated attendees (faculty, students, post-docs) who register before March 16 will have their registration fees waived. Please select $0 option at registration. After March 16, regular registration fees apply.

CATALYSIS SOCIETY of Metropolitan New York


Rutgers Food Waste-to-Low Carbon Energy Conference - April 27 - 28

April 27-28, 2016

Food waste is the largest portion of our waste stream,  making up 21% of the material that is discarded. However, only 5% of the food  waste generated is recycled.  Converting source separated food waste into  clean energy, fertilizer, and organic soil amendments can reduce odor and  methane emissions from landfills and can help generate low carbon electricity  to displace water intense fossil energy-based electricity. These  technologies are available, and widely used, in other countries to turn this  solid waste problem into environmentally and economically sustainable projects.

This conference  will share lessons learned from successful food waste-to-energy projects and  address the challenges in establishing this industry in New Jersey. Topics will  include feedstock quality and availability, conversion technologies, siting  options, regulations and policies and generated power and others end product  sales.  The goals of the conference will be to inform participants about  current state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies and to identify  the steps needed to overcome the barriers to development of a food  waste-to-energy industry in NJ.

Call for Posters: Food Waste-to-Low Carbon Energy Conference

Food Waste-to-Low Carbon Energy Conference

April 27&28, 2016


Students must submit abstracts by Friday,March18,2016- For Free Registration

SuggestedTopics:  Prizes for the Top Three Posters!


  •     NovelAnaerbicDigestionTechnolgy
  •     PretreatmentTechnolgyfrAnaerbicDigestion
  •     FodWasteReductionResearch
  •     FodWaste&OrganicWasteAssessments
  •     BiogasCleanupTechnlogies
  •     OtherNovelOrganicWasteConversinTechnolgies   
  •      BiogasUtilizationfrPwerandTransportationFuels
  •     LifeCycleAnalysisofFd& OrganicWasteManagementSystems
  •     FeasibilityStudiesfrFod&OrganicWasteManagementSystems
  •     FodWasteConnectionstotheFod-Energy-WaterNexus
  •     Digestate(liquidorslid)Utilization

Prof. Dismukes is the Principal Investigator of an award from The Global Climate and Energy Project

Prof. Charles G. Dismukes is the Principal Investigator of an award from The Global Climate and Energy Project, totaling $1,220,127. The three-year Project titled:  Robust Microalgal Production Strains for High Yield Growth on Fossil Flue Gas: Toward Cost Effective Biofuels and CO2 Mitigation. This project aims to develop microalgal strains for high carbon dioxide (CO2) and high temperature tolerances, along with increased lipid yields, through random and targeted mutagenesis. A major collaborator on this project comes from Co-PI Dr. Jun Cheng at Zhejiang University, China, where the engineered strains will be evaluated for mass production. The Rutgers’ project benefits from a collaboration with Prof. Christoph Benning at Michigan State University, who is developing genetic engineering strategies for Nannochloropsis oceanica.

2016 Clean Energy Education & Empowerment C3E Poster Competition

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 C3E Poster Competition!

Female undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars conducting research in clean energy are invited to apply! Entrants with the most compelling posters will be invited to attend the 2016 C3E Symposium on May 31st at Stanford University to showcase their work. 

The C3E Poster Competition is now in its fifth year and is building on prior competitions hosted by MIT. The Competition helps C3E spread its reach to all age groups and involve early- and pre-career women in the annual Symposium. The Competition also helps expose Symposium attendees to cutting-edge research in a variety of clean energy fields.The topic of the poster must relate to clean energy, but can be in any of the following areas:

  • Basic Energy Science
  • Built Environment and Infrastructure
  • Climate and Environment
  • Developing World
  • Energy Education
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Fossil Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Policy and Economics
  • Power Distribution and Energy Storage
  • Renewable Energy
  • Transportation

Applications and posters are due February 22nd at You do not need to be U.S. resident to apply. Learn more about eligibility and requirements here.

Rutgers University selected as one of 8 Institutions in the Nation to host DOE annual Cleantech Collegiate Competitions

Rutgers was chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy to be 1 of 8 regional schools hosting CleanTech student innovation contests this spring and will be awarding one winning team in our region with a $50,000 prize. Rutgers Business School students from the Rutgers University Venture Capital Club (RUVC) were members of a Rutgers team that entered a Department of Energy collegiate competition to fund clean energy startups on college campuses. 

Their proposal was titled: Mid-Atlantic Regional CleanTech University Prize (MARC-UP).  Read the project summary and list of team members below.

Professors from engineering, science, and RBS are acting as mentors.  The student leaders of RUVC are Aaron Weber and Doron Scheffer. 

Rutgers University Project Team:  Dunbar P. Birnie, III, Ph.D., REI Member – Material Science and Engineering Margaret;  Brennan-Tonetta, Ph.D. – Office of Economic Development, REI Member;  Serpil Guran, Ph.D. – Rutgers EcoComplex, REI Member; Lou Cooperhouse – Rutgers Food Innovation Center;  Kevin Lyons, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School, Associate Director REI;  Ted Baker, Ph.D. – Rutgers Business School;  Rutgers Entrepreneurial Society;  Rutgers Venture Capital Club;  Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

LaunchR is the Rutgers student-run clean technology startup accelerator funded by the Department of Energy. They are focused on connecting young, budding innovators in the green technology space through mentorship and workshops. At the end of the program, expert judges will reward the most promising company in the program with a $50,000 prize.

Falkowski Named to BOEM Committee on Ocean Energy Management

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have selected 14 distinguished experts, including Paul G. Falkowski (Rutgers Energy Institute Director and Distinguished Professor in Marine & Coastal Sciences, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University)  to serve on the new standing committee on environmental science and assessment for offshore energy and mineral resources. The committee will provide independent information on issues relevant to BOEM’s environmental studies and assessment activities and support discussions on relevant issues.

Rutgers EcoComplex Awarded USDA Grant to Study Feasibility of Renewable Energy from Food and Animal Waste

The Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded a Rural Business Development Grant of $19,000 by the USDA Rural Development Office to perform a technical and economic feasibility study of co-digestion of food waste and dairy manure at Fulper Family Farms, located in West Amwell Township.

NREL’s BioEnergy Atlas Tools

The Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office funded the BioEnergy Atlas
tools, which include the BioFuels and BioPower Atlases. These tools are
designed as a first pass visualization tool that allows users to view many
bioenergy and related datasets in Google Maps. Users can query and download map
data and view incentives and state energy data, as well as select an area on
the map for estimated biofuels or biopower production potential.

AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program - apply now

AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program:  10-week summer program places science, engineering, and mathematics students at media organizations nationwide. Fellows use their academic training as they research, write, and report today’s headlines, sharpening their abilities to communicate complex scientific issues to the public.

  • Learn more
  • 2016 application is now available online!

Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave (2015)

What are the global warming emissions of electric cars on a life cycle basis—from the manufacturing of the vehicle’s body and battery to its ultimate disposal and reuse? To answer this, the Union of Concerned Scientists undertook a comprehensive, two-year review of the climate emissions from vehicle production, operation, and disposal. They found that battery electric cars generate half the emissions of the average comparable gasoline car, even when pollution from battery manufacturing is accounted for.

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit Student Program

The 2016 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will take place from February 29 – March 2, 2016 at the Gaylord Convention Center just outside of Washington, DC. The Student Program is a great opportunity for graduate level energy leaders to network with companies searching for new talent and learn about new energy initiatives. ARPA-E will select 100 graduate-level students to participate in this program. Please encourage Rutgers’ student energy leaders to apply.

The application portal is now open and the deadline is December 4, 2015.

Department of Energy Releases New, 10-Year Strategic Plan for Materials and Chemistry Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a new, 10-year strategic plan for materials and chemical sciences research, entitled “Challenges at the Frontiers of Matter and Energy: Transformative
Opportunities for Discovery Science.” 

Revolution Now: The Future Arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies–2015 Update

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Revolution Now report, highlighting four transformational technologies: land-based wind power, silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and electric vehicles (EVs). That study and its 2014 update showed how dramatic reductions in cost are driving a surge in consumer, industrial, and commercial adoption for these clean energy technologies—as well as yearly progress.

In addition to presenting the continued progress made over the last year in these areas, this year’s update goes further. Two separate sections now cover large, central, utility-scale PV plants and smaller, rooftop, distributed PV systems to highlight how both have achieved significant deployment nationwide, and have done so through different innovations, such as easier access to capital for utility-scale PV and reductions of non-hardware costs and third-party ownership for distributed PV.

Along with these core technologies, this update briefly introduces three additional technologies on the cusp of wider deployment and cost reduction in the coming years: smart building systems, fuel-efficient freight trucks, and vehicle lightweighting.

Rutgers Food Waste-to-Energy Conference

Call for Presentations and Posters by Dec. 15, 2015.

  • April 27-28, 2016 event
  • Location held at  Rutgers EcoComplex
  • More details
  • For more information contact: Dr. Serpil Guran, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: 609-499-3600 ext. 4225