University of Connecticut University of Connecticut The University of Connecticut campus. (Photo courtesy UConn)

Universities in Connecticut and Israel team up to study clean energy

Students and faculty will swap places to present ongoing research.

An innovative exchange program will help two of the world's leading universities expand the scope of their clean-energy research. Students and faculty from the University of Connecticut and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will soon travel between the institutions to discuss current and ongoing studies of alternative energy technologies.

The work to formulate this partnership began last year, when UConn administrators visited Israel to discuss possible partnerships in the region. The representatives met with Technion, with which it already had a Memorandum of Understanding for future collaborations, as well as several other schools. "Any top-tier university must be a globally connected university," UConn Vice Provost for Global Affairs Daniel Weiner said at the time. "Developing international partnerships is a critical obligation of any top U.S. universities and their presidents if they aspire for their researchers, students, and states to fully compete in the global economy."

The students and faculty involved in the exchange will come from UConn's Center for Clean Energy Engineering and Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation, both of which are led by Professor Prabhakar Singh, and Technion's Grand Technion Energy Program, led by Professor Gideon Grader. The collaboration will cover a wide range of alternative energy technologies, including fuel cells, molten salt, concentrated solar power and large-scale stationary batteries, as well as related issues such as materials corrosion.

The exchange program was made possible by a gift from the Satell Family Foundation, founded by UConn graduate Ed Satell. Energy and health-care projects in Israel are among the causes supported by the foundation.

"I'm proud to support this exciting alliance between my alma mater and Israel's great research institute, the Technion, where for years I've quietly sponsored some major research projects," Satell said in a press release. "This project can have a dramatic, positive, creative impact on the world's much-needed clean, affordable, plentiful alternative energy resources."

UConn and Technion already collaborate on technologies in several other fields, including stem cell research, physics and mathematics. In addition, the two universities are discussing future collaborations related to materials science and robotics.

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