The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Energy is a university-wide endeavor that leverages the energy-related expertise of approximately 100 faculty members across campus from multiple disciplines and departments among the Swanson School of Engineering, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Law School, Business School and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Established in 2008, the Center is a unifying entity for faculty members to collaborate with each other, regional energy industry leaders, government agencies, and the community to address the many challenges and opportunities associated with the generation, transmission, and utilization of energy. The Center is ideally situated to accomplish this mission, given the Pittsburgh region’s abundant natural resources and leadership in the development of clean energy technologies and energy infrastructure, the presence of leading global energy companies, and engaged community and government constituents. The Center serves as an easily accessible entry point for industry in identifying energy-related research and educational expertise, forming partnerships and collaborations, and participating in various energy programs at the University and throughout the community. In 2012, the Center for Energy was awarded a $22 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to further advance the University’s energy capabilities. The RK Mellon funding supports four endowed faculty positions; endowed graduate student fellowships; equipment, infrastructure and laboratories; commercialization activities; program management and outreach; and planning activities for future growth.
As the Center for Energy continues to advance, along with the development of the Pittsburgh region’s energy nexus, it has achieved a strong track record of attracting and training high-quality undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, visiting scientists, and faculty, all of whom are important elements to evolving and sustaining the Center as an internationally prominent energy program.
A defining characteristic of the Center is its success in working closely with the concentration of energy-related industry and community organizations in the region. The next step in the maturation and expansion of the Center will be in taking this model nationwide and across the globe. To that end, the Center serves as an easily accessible entry point for external constituents in identifying energy-related research and education expertise, forming collaborations, and participating in activities at the University.