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Cluster focus

Energy sources and policy is an issue of critical importance to society. This includes research emphasizing improved energy generation technologies, alternative energy sources, new and improved technologies for reducing environmental impact of energy use, electric-grid stability and reliability, energy pricing, development of energy markets, electricity restructuring, energy in global economic development, national energy security and distributed energy sources. New solutions to our energy needs and the impact of energy use need to be found sooner rather than later. There is a substantial amount of state and federal funding available to research energy issues, and the cluster is helping UW-Madison effectively compete for this funding. More than three dozen faculty members are working on energy-related science and technology, and on energy economics and policy issues on campus. The cluster helps provide a focal point for this work and offers the potential for UW-Madison to develop a well-defined comprehensive and reenergized focus on energy sources and policy.

Cluster accomplishments

  • The cluster has tremendous potential to affect future researchers, as almost 20 percent of the College of Engineering’s graduate students emphasize energy issues in their studies.
  • The cluster faculty have helped to strengthen the campus graduate program on Energy Analysis and Policy and started an undergraduate certificate in Engery.
  • Faculty conducting energy research are well-funded at UW-Madison, receiving more than $75 million collectively from the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.
  • One of the cluster faculty members has incorporated research on air pollution chemistry and transport on regional and global scales into two new courses, "Air Resource Science and Policy" and "Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Pollution."
  • A second cluster faculty uses his research on nuclear power to teach courses on Nuclear Reactor Analysis and Nuclear Reactor Engineering. This faculty member is also connected to more than 30 affiliated faculty through his work at the Fusion Technology Institute.
  • Another cluster faculty uses his research on power systems and the electrical grid investigating grid stability, reliability, energy pricing and the development of energy markets.

Cluster structure

The cluster faculty are connected through their work in the UW Energy Institute and its affiliated Research Centers as well as the Energy Analysis and Policy Program, an interdisciplinary program offering a master’s certificate and PhD minor program within the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. This cluster is currently conducting searches for two more faculty positions. The addition of the final two faculty members will complete the cluster and allow faculty to move forward in their collaborative work.

Cluster coordinator, faculty and lead dean

Cluster Coordinator

Cluster Faculty

Lead Dean