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UW Receives Funding for Solar Energy Conversion Research

October 14, 2010

The University of Wyoming recently received $3.2 million to conduct research on novel materials for solar energy conversion in the newly formed Center for Photoconversion and Catalysis (CPAC) in the School of Energy Resources (SER).

The EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) funding is in the form of two competitive grants, one from the U.S. Department of Energy for $2.4 million over three years and another from NASA for $750,000 over three years. EPSCoR has brought millions of dollars into Wyoming by working to make UW faculty competitive in obtaining federal research grants while also improving the state's science and engineering infrastructure and strengthening departmental and multidisciplinary research groups.

The research, led by Wenyong Wang, a professor in the UW Department of Physics and Astronomy, will bring together scientists from several departments to develop and test new, more affordable and more efficient materials to convert sunlight into electricity and fuels.

"The efficient use of energy resources -- whether fossil or renewable -- depends on catalysis," says Carrick M. Eggleston, CPAC associate director and a professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. "The research in this center will help us move toward more efficient solar energy conversion systems and more efficient use of all forms of energy."

One of the SER's nine centers of excellence, the CPAC examines new opportunities for energy generation and conversion while seeking to improve efficiency in energy production and use.

For more information on the SER, go to the official Web site at

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