UT Austin Energy Bulletin
A Monthly Update from the Energy Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
|The UT Austin Energy Bulletin is a monthly update on energy-related research, recent and upcoming events, grants, awards and special announcements – a recap of all things energy at The University of Texas at Austin.
Kay Bailey Hutchison: UT Austin “breaking new ground in energy leadership”
The first annual UT Energy Week concluded Feb. 20 with an inaugural symposium and gala hosted by the new Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, an interdisciplinary collaboration between UT Austin’s School of Law and the McCombs School of Business. The theme for the symposium, Geopolitics of Oil and Gas in the Americas, included speeches and panel discussions featuring energy leaders from business, government, and academia. Topics included the implications of Mexican energy reform for the United States, energy security, and governance of energy development. For more read an interview with former U.S. Sen. Hutchison here.
Longhorn Energy Club awards startup competition winners $100K in cash and prizes during UT Energy Week
Entrepreneurs representing energy startups picked up a much-needed infusion of cash earlier this month for their winning entries in the inaugural Energy Technology Competition, organized by UT Austin’s student-run Longhorn Energy Club. Winning entrants, who also were given a one-year appointment in UT’s Austin Technology Incubator, were announced during the first annual UT Energy Week. Go here to learn more about the startup competition and for a list of winners.
Seismic activity linked to injection wells may vary by region
Regional differences in geology, orientation of pre-existing faults, injection practices and the duration of oil and gas production are among the factors that may account for varying occurrences of earthquakes related to wastewater injection in Texas, according to new research conducted by Dr. Cliff Frohlich, associate director of UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics. Read more.
New NASA satellite builds on UT Austin research; rich data expected to help better predict drought and floods
UT Austin researchers will have special access to data collected from a new NASA satellite that could revolutionize weather forecasting by mapping water resources in Texas and across the globe. Data from the satellite will be collected by a network of underground sensors managed by the Texas Soil Observation Network run by Dr. Todd Caldwell, Dr. Michael Young and other scientists in the Bureau of Economic Geology within the Jackson School of Geosciences. The data is expected to improve drought monitoring and irrigation water requirements, as well as help utilities and industry meet water, wind and energy demands. Read more.
Engineering Professor Brian Korgel: nanotechnology can help improve efficiency of solar cells
Replacing silicon slabs in solar panels with cadmium telluride ink could greatly improve the efficiency of solar cells, said Chemical Engineering Professor Brian Korgel during his Feb. 5 presentation to the UT Energy Symposium. Korgel, director of UT Austin’s Research Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, said cadmium telluride ink, a new synthetic material made of crystals, absorbs sunlight better than panels made of silicon. Read more.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“The university is breaking new ground in energy leadership.”
Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, on the new KBH Center for Energy, Law and Business.
UT Energy Week showcased expert speakers, energy research, student competitions
Approximately 400 people attended the first annual UT Energy Week, a gathering of experts from academia, industry, non-profit organizations and the news media co-hosted by UT Austin’s Energy Institute and student-run Longhorn Energy Club, with the participation of schools, colleges, and centers engaged in energy research. The conference featured panel discussions, keynote addresses from prominent energy experts, and student competitions, along with a series of evening events, including a town hall meeting on hydraulic fracturing and a new Hot Science Cool Talks lecture. Visit the UT Energy Week website soon for presentations, photos, and other details about the conference. For more, watch a video produced by The Hook, a weekly news show about UT Austin.
Energy Institute to host panel on role of energy in enhancing energy security
On Friday, March 6 the Energy Institute will host a panel discussion on the unique role of energy in international relations and efforts among nations to enhance energy security. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in Room 202 of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. (Sign-in and networking begin at 9:30 a.m.) Panelists include Jason Bordoff, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and Jorge R. Piñon, director of UT Austin’s Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program. The panel will be moderated by UT Austin Engineering Professor and Energy Institute Deputy Director Michael Webber. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please RSVP here.