Initiatives

initiatives graphic

Development, education, and equitable implementation of sustainable energy technologies are at the core of the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute’s (ROSEI’s) mission. In the Fall of 2021 ROSEI defined and provided initial funding for five initiatives to further these goals:

Each initiative is briefly explained in the following. Parties interested in learning more specifics may contact ROSEI or the initiative leaders directly. For Hopkins faculty interested in funding related to these initiatives ROSEI is participating in the JHU Discovery and Catalyst seed research programs and offering an additional $50,000 on top of the conventional awards for impactful work aligned with the ROSEI focus areas, and specifically these initiatives.

Initiative for Negative Carbon Carbon (NC2)

Leads: Jonah Erlebacher, Chao Wang
ROSEI Area: Stewardship in Fuel Technologies
ROSEI Partners: Materials Characterization & Processing Core Facility, Materials Science, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Schedule: 11/1/2021 – 10/31/2024
Summary: Increasing levels of atmospheric carbon and the continued utilization of fossil fuels in many energy-intensive applications require transformative ideas in the area of capture and up-cycling of carbon into useful products.
Technical Aim: Identify and develop emissions-free chemical cycles for the conversion of natural gas or carbon dioxide to low-cost, high-volume, and high-value carbon materials.
Research Infrastructure: New equipment for (a) carbon capture, sequestration and chemical transformation, and for (b) processing lower-quality precursors into high-performance carbon materials

Initiative for Light-Integrated Technology for Energy Storage (LITES)

Leads: Jeffrey Maranchi, Sara Thoi, Susanna Thon
ROSEI Area: Renewable Energy
Partners: Applied Physics Laboratory, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Schedule: 10/1/2021 – 9/30/2024
Summary: Off-grid energy accounts for 68% of carbon dioxide emissions in the US; there is therefore an urgent need for emissions-free technologies that can both generate and store energy on-demand and on-the-go, where and when it is needed.
Technical Aim: Create new batteries with integrated solar energy capture using new manufacturing and heat sinking strategies to enable flexibility and small form factor for mobile applications .
Research Infrastructure: Collaboration with APL cements and demonstrates ROSEI-APL partnership potential. Capital equipment including spectroscopic ellipsometer, sputtering tool, and thermal/e-beam evaporator to enable meaningful prototyping.

Initiative for Zero-Carbon Power Systems, Markets, and Policy (Z-CAP)

Leads: Johannes Urpelainen, Ben Hobbs
ROSEI Area: Affordable and Equitable Implementation
Partners: School of Advanced International Studies, Environmental Health & Engineering
Schedule: 10/1/2021 – 9/30/2024
Summary: Zero-carbon power systems are essential to combat climate change. Power systems are nor just technical, but also economic and political constructs. Advising decision-makers effectively requires a multi-disciplinary approach grounded in an accurate understanding of the energy system and the political economy that shapes policies, regulations, and market behavior.
Technical Aim: Develop decision-support tools and advocacy for sustainable energy transition, focusing initially on South Asia and the United States.
Research Infrastructure: Power system models for South Asia will enable a variety of scenario-driven inquiries in the short run. Optimization software and computing hardware will enable modeling studies in South Asia and the United States.

Initiative for Wind Farm Flow Databases (WFdb)

Leads: Dennice Gayme, Charles Meneveau
ROSEI Area: Renewable Energy
Partners: Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES), Mechanical Engineering
Schedule: 2/1/2022 – 1/31/2024
Summary: The needed scale-up of wind farms to combat climate change is massive – and the effectiveness of the scale-up is directly tied to the efficiency of the resource use. Widely shared simulation data can enable a community of researchers to find novel pathways to increase total wind farm efficiency substantially.
Technical Aim: The goal of the project is to provide publicly accessible data from world class wind farm simulations. The data and an associated set of interrogation and analysis tools will provide a combined community resource to aid in the required technical advancements for wind to meet its full potential as a major source of electricity.
Research Infrastructure: Big data and partnership with IDIES including investment in Hopkins computing resources, wind farm database. 

Initiative for Sustainable Energy Education (SEE)

Leads: Planning leads Claire VerHulst, Rachel Sangree
ROSEI Area: Equitable Implementation
Partners: Planning partners Center for Educational Outreach, Civil and Systems Engineering
Schedule: Estimated Schedule, Develop 2021-2022, offer 2022/23
Summary: Engineering education is of growing importance in society. Climate change and sustainable energy are areas of immense societal importance and student interest. Educational outreach  is critical for reaching a more diverse population of students and enabling a wider cross-section of society to positively contribute to the sustainable energy transformation.
Technical Aim: Develop a high school outreach program around sustainable energy.
Infrastructure: A new sustainable energy high school outreach program, housed in the Center for Educational Outreach, under the umbrella of the Engineering Innovation for high school students program will be offered. This program can be leveraged by energy researchers to make their own outreach more relevant and impactful.