Notre Dame joins Indiana energy consortium

by William G. Gilroy and Nina Welding

Ethanol Plant

The University of Notre Dame Energy Center has joined the Indiana Consortium for Research in Energy Systems and Policy (CRESP). The center joins founding partners Indiana University, Purdue University and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis in this multidisciplinary organization designed to promote energy focused collaborative investigations and educational opportunities among faculty and researchers at the partner universities.

“We are pleased to commit to membership in CRESP and serve as the coordinator for the efforts of faculty and researchers from across the University and with partner institutions as we tackle the technical, economic and ethical issues related to energy production and its use in the 21st century,” said Joan F. Brennecke, Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Notre Dame Energy Center.

CRESP’s goals include facilitating the formation of multi-institution research teams, securing funding for those teams and conducting research that targets solutions to energy issues. The consortium’s scope encompasses both renewable and fossil energy, specifically focusing on issues relevant to the economies of Midwestern states, particularly Indiana, where about 96 percent of the state’s electricity is generated in facilities fueled by coal. The state also is a large producer of renewable energy resources, such as ethanol and biodiesel from corn and soybeans.

Each university partner offers a different strength for CRESP, from electric vehicles and battery technology to global warming. The Notre Dame Energy Center provides expertise in the development of CO2 separation for cleaner fossil fuel utilization, the safe storage and use of nuclear fuel by-products, and the creation of new solar energy technologies.