New energy partnership proves UT leads the way in energy research

Mary Dolan

If there was any doubt that UT would continue to lead the way in high profile research projects, that doubt can now be safely put to rest. UT announced August 11 it would partner with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, a Japanese government agency, to pave the way for what will be an expansive and exciting research opportunity.

UT and NEDO have joined together to power some of the university’s most powerful computers using alternative energy sources. The collaboration will center on creating and testing parts of an energy efficient data center. It will also focus on the creation of a new data farm located at UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center.

The collaboration shows the university’s dedication to solve problems by creating unique research opportunities for its faculty and students. As President Fenves said about the partnership, “We are ever more dependent on data, and at the same time, ever more conscious of the need to utilize all sources of energy. This important project helps meet those two great needs while engaging our students and faculty in groundbreaking research.”

This is not the first time that UT has been involved in groundbreaking energy projects. Researchers from the university discovered a new source for biofuels in 2008 — an ethanol producing microbe. The same year, university biologists developed a model for studying Angelman syndrome, a disorder that causes mental retardation. There have been many more UT research projects that have developed into truly exciting discoveries.

Through projects like these, UT fosters an environment where research is constantly being conducted and analyzed, thus providing great opportunities for those on campus. The partnership with NEDO shows UT will continue to test new ideas and encourage a spirit of curiosity and potential.

In the future, UT plans to focus their research on energy, as it has shown with the NEDO partnership. Scientists from the university have worked to conduct research in areas related to oil and gas, nuclear energy, solar power, and many more. UT students and faculty are often given opportunities to participate in these studies and have a hand in making unique new discoveries. As more and more resources are being devoted to energy research and finding alternative fuel sources, UT has been at the forefront in the area of giving students and faculty opportunities to participate in these kinds of activities. Students especially are able to take these opportunities with them as they enter the workforce in the form of resume builders and relevant work experience.

The NEDO partnership definitely shows UT’s dedication in fostering important and relevant research opportunities and allowing students and faculty to help create these trials and experiments. By doing this, UT will give those involved valuable experiences that allow them make a difference in many present and future areas of study.

Dolan is a journalism sophomore from Abilene. Follow her on Twitter @mimimdolan.