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UW Joins Energy Consortium with Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Universities

October 17, 2014

The University of Wyoming has joined the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Idaho’s three research universities as a member of an energy research consortium.

INL’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is committed to conducting research to address the country’s and the region’s energy challenges. Other members are the University of Idaho, Idaho State University and Boise State University.

“This is a wonderful opportunity. We know we will have great, positive outcomes from this,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead says. “We know that the private sector is looking to us as well, because they understand that by providing greater educational opportunities for the citizens of both states, all will be winners. We look forward to developing this relationship and building on it for years to come for the benefit of all our citizens.”

“Wyoming’s decision to join in the state-of-the-art work being done by CAES is an important step toward fulfilling this partnership’s promise as a truly regional, national and global leader in the field,” Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said in a statement issued by his office. “CAES already is an incredible resource for Idaho. Bringing Wyoming into the mix opens great new frontiers for collaboratively advancing research on energy generation, conservation and transmission that will benefit us all.”

UW’s addition to the consortium will strengthen its ability to develop sustainable research grants, expand educational and workforce development opportunities, and more effectively engage regional energy industries.

“In particular, UW’s capabilities in high-performance computing, subsurface water science, petroleum engineering, geophysics, energy and natural resource policy, economics and law, fossil energy systems, materials sciences and related research will significantly advance the consortium’s mission,” says Bill Gern, UW’s vice president for research and economic development. “Wyoming and Idaho are connected in many ways, including economically and hydrologically, and the CAES consortium is simply another manifestation of this connection -- this time including a very significant Department of Energy entity, the Idaho National Laboratory.”

UW’s School of Energy Resources (SER) “has exceptionally strong relationships and partnerships with the energy industry and with international energy research institutions,” Otter says. “That will enable CAES to access broader research and development funding opportunities and improve talent recruitment while strengthening the consortium’s regional economic development impact.”

UW, meanwhile, stands to benefit from the Idaho institutions’ nuclear engineering programs and other areas of strength, says Don Roth, SER’s deputy director for academics, who will coordinate UW’s efforts as associate director of CAES.

“UW’s engagement in this coalition will bring a new dimension to our significant capabilities in the energy and natural resource arena,” Roth says. “Already, we have identified multiple areas where synergies are being established for the benefit of all stakeholders. Our objective is to rapidly expand the scale and scope of our involvement with CAES.”

“The addition of the University of Wyoming to our CAES team is an exciting step forward in creating a regional powerhouse for energy research, workforce development and thought leadership,” says Steven Aumeier, CAES director and INL associate laboratory director for energy and environmental science and technology. “Our goal is to see this consortium be a strategic advantage for the people and businesses of Idaho and Wyoming, and the nation broadly.”

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