Upcoming Events

Complete the Center for Energy Innovation Signup Form to be invited to our future events.

MassCEC's ClimaTech Exposition
June 4, 2024

The Center for Energy Innovation will be in attendance with a booth at the ClimaTech Innovation Exposition next month. Come see us there and experience some of our groundbreaking technology in action!

WindSTAR Summer IAB Meeting

June 12-13, 2024 at UMass Lowell

The Summer IAB meeting will be hosted by The University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Attendance is free, but registration is required to participate in the meeting. The full meeting is for paying members of the WindSTAR Industry Advisory Board and special guests who are considering joining the Center.

Get more information and register on WindSTAR's meetings and events page.

  • CEI In-Person Seminar - Energy in Africa; Equity in a Just Transition
    Richard O. Agjei, Ph.D.; April 9, 2024

    Access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa has improved tremendously over the last decade, with significant growth in access. However, while energy consumption has increased, it has not increased equitably. This talk will address the fundamentals of energy in Africa, identifying opportunities and discussing the impacts of shifting collective focus to energy security at the expense of equity. Richard Agjei, Ph.D., will discuss why energy equity has stalled around the world after a challenging four years, and the need for a faster and more inclusive transition to deliver a sustainable, secure and fair energy future apart from the ‘New Solution to Power Africa: Productive Use of Renewable Energy.’ This talk will include a discussion with individuals with field-specific expertise and international experience that have much to contribute to this important subject.

    WindSTAR Webinar - Evolving to Support a Low-Carbon Transformation
    Tuesday, October 10, 11 a.m. EDT

    Companies, countries, and whole continents are committing to various versions of zero carbon or net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Brandon Fitchett of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will present some hypothetical electricity and power system transformational scenarios with stages at 2030, 2040, and 2050 that could lead to such targets. In all cases, wind and solar expand drastically. In many cases, hydrogen, storage, and nuclear also play a role in the longer-term. Renewables plants, specifically, will need to be built more productive, more reliable, and more flexible than ever before. EPRI will present some renewables research challenges and technology directions needed to support the future power system.

    Center for Energy Innovation Launch Celebration (Lab Tours & Cocktail Reception)
    Wednesday, October 11, 2023

    The facilities tour will include laboratories demonstrating cutting-edge research related to solar and wind energy, hydrogen, combustion, fuel synthesis, energy storage, plasma technology, structural health monitoring, buildings efficiency, and our active, 1MW nuclear research reactor. Following the tours, join us for a cocktail reception with remarks from Rebecca Tepper, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and Anne Maglia, UMass Lowell's Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. 

    Webinar: Power Outages and Social Vulnerability
    Prof. Christine Crago; May 11, 2023

    A reliable electric power supply is essential to the functioning of modern society. Power outages impose a significant annual to municipalities, businesses, and individual households, and climate change-induced severe weather is expected to further increase this cost in the future. Despite the significant impact of power outages, there are research gaps pertaining to identifying national power disruption trends and identifying those most affected. In her group’s research, Prof. Crago examines the distribution of power outages in the United States. Using the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), they examine temporal and spatial trends for the years 2017-2020 at the county level. They also examine the relative severity of power outage experiences for environmental justice communities, identified based on the criteria of poverty, English language limitations, and demographic racial minority status. In this talk, Prof. Crago will discuss their results, which underscore the need for equity in power system reliability.

    Watch "Power Outages and Social Vulnerability"

    Webinar: Liquid-Phase Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Fuels and Chemicals
    Prof. Thomas J. Schwartz; April 11, 2023

    The prevalence of “light” (C1-C3) hydrocarbons obtained from shale gas requires us to find alternative sources of larger molecules suitable for producing commodity and specialty chemicals. Biomass is an attractive option because of its 5- and 6-carbon sugar content, and it natively contains the oxygen needed high-value chemicals. However, selective de-functionalization of biomass is a key challenge for producing bio-based chemicals. For many cases, this can be accomplished by hydrogenolysis, where C-O bonds are broken by addition of H2. While many catalysts are active for this reaction, they are not always selective. Here, we discuss the influence of water on the catalytic reaction of Ru/TiO2, which is selective for C-O hydogenolysis (in the presence of aromatic rings) to produce toluene, benzene, etc. from phenols. This is important to consider when upgrading biomass, which contains around 50% water after harvest). We also show that the same catalyst, used under milder conditions, can be used for selective hydrogenolysis of substituted tetrahydrofuroic acids, which allows us to produce biorenewable thermoplastics. 

    Watch "Liquid-Phase Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Fuels and Chemicals"

    Webinar: Making Waste Work For Us

    Prof. Michael Timko; March 17, 2023
    Waste is the natural byproduct of our extractive economy, and its accumulation, including everything from atmospheric gases to water pollutants, threatens our ecosystems and increasingly our health. However, some waste streams have value, provided that we can achieve valorization and prevent inequitable exposure to waste and pollution in disadvantaged communities. Prof. Timko's research works to develop new ways to convert waste to valuable energy, fuels, chemicals, and materials; in this talk, he will invite our audience to follow along with the journey from basic chemistry to environmental and economic benefit for food waste streams. Beginning with a fundamental understanding of food waste chemistry, they developed sequential generations of technologies for converting it into a renewable fuel, with each iteration showing improvement on those previous and providing a deeper understanding of the complex chemical pathways for waste conversion. 
    Webinar: "Meeting our decarbonization goals: What's needed beyond good engineering?"
    Jacqueline Ashmore, Ph.D.; November 2, 2022
    Successful decarbonization relies on widespread electrification, increased energy efficiency, and sourcing electricity from clean energy. This presentation will focus on developing clean energy resources, with a particular emphasis on large scale solar power and energy storage. It will cover the increased support for the development of clean energy that is unleashing capital and generating stronger policy drivers for clean energy projects across the country. It will also examine the obstacles that remain including questions about land use, challenges with interconnection, and uncertainty about accessing incentives. A central theme is that engineering, policy, and financing are all important in accelerating the adoption of clean energy.