Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative (EEi) and the University of North Dakota’s Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on research and the development and deployment of technologies that provide transformative solutions to the world’s relevant energy challenges.
EEi and EERC have mutual interests in a number of areas, including computational engineering, materials engineering, applications of nanomaterials, environmental engineering involving air and water, carbon capture and storage in enhanced oil recovery and chemicals production, and pipeline transmission, flow assurance and remote monitoring.
Charles McConnell, executive director of EEi, cited some current activities at Rice that could provide “strong collaborative opportunities not just between our respective organizations but in the marketplace”:
* EEi’s research in the areas of oil and gas, fossil fuel technology, midstream pipelines and other energy markets, such as electric power and petrochemicals, for the purpose of developing not only technology research and solutions but also market policies and frameworks for research.
* Rice’s Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment, a consortium of industry, university and government partners funded by the National Science Foundation to make U.S. energy production more sustainable and cost-effective, as well as to provide innovative new ways to provide clean drinking water to the global community.
EERC was founded as a federal research lab in 1951. It employs 235 scientists, engineers and support personnel who work with government and academic partners to develop energy and environmental technologies for about 1,000 corporate clients.
According to the terms of the MOU, a biannual technology exchange will be hosted alternately by the two participants to explore research alignment. EEi will host the first exchange in February, and EERC will host the second in August. McConnell said projects for cooperative research and collaborative field deployment opportunities will evolve into a working program and suite of opportunities that will scale to marketplace solutions.