University Park, Pa. -- In his policy speech given today (Feb. 3) at the Recreation Building on Penn State's University Park campus, President Barack Obama advocated the pursuit of alternate energy research. Obama noted that buildings consume 40 percent of the energy used in the United States. In August 2010 a team of University researchers were awarded $129 million over the next five years from several federal sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy, to develop ways to make buildings more energy efficient, centering their work at a new Energy Innovation Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The initiative will involve a substantial number of researchers from academe, the private sector and two national laboratories in a concerted effort to save energy, cut carbon pollution and position the United States at the forefront of the industry.
Penn State has more than 500 researchers working in the areas of energy and the environment, centered through the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, which are working to advance the energy and environmental missions of the University.
Following are five brief videos, part of Penn State's Advancing Energy series, that highlight a small sample of the variety of cutting-edge energy research at Penn State. Click on each linked title to watch the brief video on that topic:
• Penn State's Thomas E. Mallouk discusses solar energy research materials: Penn State's Thomas Mallouk, Evan Pugh professor of materials chemistry and physics, leads a research group that is investigating ways to drive down the cost of solar cells, to make them more viable.
• Penn State professor Joan Redwing discusses harnessing solar energy on a very small scale: Joan Redwing, professor of electrical engineering and materials science at Penn State, researches ways to harness the sun's power by conducting it through wires made of silicon.
• Penn State's Chao-Yang Wang explains research toward more efficient battery power: Chao-Yang Wang, the William E. Diefenderfer Chair of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Electrochemical Engine Center at Penn State, is researching ways of making batteries for electro- and hydro-cars. Penn State is regarded very highly in the private sector for its research in this area. He seeks to make these batteries more efficient, thus making them more viable for car manufacturers and buyers alike.
• Bruce Logan of Penn State developing microbial fuel cells as new sources of clean, renewable energy: Bruce E. Logan, the Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering at Penn State, is on the cutting edge of developing new sources of clean and renewable energy with his microbial fuel cells, which extract energy from waste water.
• Andrè Boehman of Penn State seeks new ways to use fossil fuels efficiently: André Boehman, professor of fuel science and engineering at Penn State, speaks from his diesel combustion and emissions laboratory. His research on alternate sources of diesel fuel aims to improve the country's energy situation.