Clean Green IGERT

[CGI cycle]

The National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship on Clean Energy for Green Industry at UCLA (CGI) is a 3 year fellowship* that provides a $30,000 stipend/year, tuition, fees, travel stipend to participate in a scientific conference or workshop, internships and international experience. The fellowship will develop leaders in environmental energy through integrated research and coursework in the science, business and policies of clean technology. Completion of a 1-3 month cross-disciplinary internship with an industrial partner or national laboratory is encouraged.

Each fellow's participation includes academic, research training and professional development with scientific, business and policy emphasis.

Program features include clean energy lecture, laboratory and seminar-based curriculum, internships or international experience, business development and small company opportunities along with community involvement activities in K-12.

* Fellowship is awarded for the first year and third years upon successful progress. Second and fourth years are funded at normal departmental rates.


[event photo]

A joint UCSB and UCLA IGERT meeting was held on November 16. Trainees from UCSB's ConvEne (Conversion of Energy Through Molecular Platforms) and UCLA's Clean Green IGERT programs met at UC Santa Barbara's California NanoSystems Institute to present their work through research talks and a poster session. CGI was represented by Omar Asensio (advisor Prof. Magali Delmas), Benjamin Feinberg (advisor Prof. Eric Hoek), Michael Haddad and Alan Farrell (advisor Prof. Diana Huffaker), Brian McVerry and Lisa Wang (advisor Prof. Richard Kaner), and David Watts (advisor Prof. Sarah Tolbert).

Razmig Kandilian awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship. UCLA MAE Associate Professor Laurent Pilon's PhD student Razmig Kandilian was awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) by the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the United States. This program aims to give the opportunity to selected American graduate students to benefit from an experience in the best research laboratories in France, and to develop scientific cooperation between France and the United States.

Please like Ian McKinley's entry for the NSF-IGERT video/poster competition. The most likes on Facebook wins the Public Choice award!

The research of Prof. Richard Kaner and trainee Jaime Torres was featured on the cover of Small, vol. 8 issue 9 (May 7, 2012). The cover image shows a schematic pathway of how ethane gas can be used to grow AB-stacked, bilayer graphene through chemical vapor deposition on copper foils. The background is a selective area transmission electron microscopy image of bilayer graphene, and the foreground displays a scanning electron microscopy image of graphene with the bilayer regions-blue false-colored-lifted above to demonstrate the high bilayer coverage. The effects of different hydrocarbon gases have been studied to elucidate that the growth process of graphene on copper catalysts is not only based on the concentration of carbon in the reaction, but also on the different decomposition pathways of each hydrocarbon. For more information, please read the full paper, Chemical Vapor Deposition of Graphene on Copper from Methane, Ethane and Propane: Evidence for Bilayer Selectivity.

Research papers published by our trainees in the past year also include: (*indicates trainee)

Prof. James C. Liao was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. On Thursday, April 19th, James Liao was one of nine individuals honored at the White House as Champions of Change for advancing new ideas that are leading the way to a clean energy future and an economy that's built to last. The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities. Read about Liao's research on using microbes to help convert solar power to liquid fuel.

Books recently published or to be published by CGI faculty members: 1. Governance for the Environment: New Perspectives, edited by Magali A. Delmas and Oran R. Young, 2. Foam Engineering: Fundamentals and Applications, 2 chapters by Laurent Pilon, and 3. Handbook of Hydrogen Energy, 1 chapter by Laurent Pilon.

Asking An Expert About Biofuels: A Discussion with UCLA Professor Laurent Pilon. PortTechLA, a public/private non-profit technology center and business incubator operated by a coalition consisting of the City of Los Angeles, Port of Los Angeles and the San Pedro and Wilmington Chambers of Commerce, recently talked to Laurent Pilon, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, about the significance of biofuels. The mission of PortTechLA is to attract and mentor companies with technologies that will enable the Port of Los Angeles, and ports worldwide, to meet their immediate and future environmental, energy, security and logistics goals. Professor Pilon is a co-PI of the Clean Energy for Green Industry IGERT at UCLA.

Lights go out on the Hill during energy competition. UCLA students competed to see which dorm could reduce its electricy usage the most. Weekly updates were kept with electric meters which were installed and hidden in basement utility closets or outdoor cages. Those weekly updates are a good motivator, according to a study by Professor Magali Delmas, an environmental economist with the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She put individual energy meters into certain dorm rooms last year and posted charts on how much energy was being saved per room, a strategy that spurred more energy conservation. "This showed that status and social pressure is a powerful tool," said Delmas. She calls it the Prius effect. "That's how the Prius became such a popular car. People like the status of demonstrating how green they are."

The American Chemical Society has honored Richard B. Kaner with the 2012 ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials. The award recognizes Kaner "for the development of simple, high-yield, widely applicable synthetic routes to important materials including conducting polymer nanofibers, ultraincompressible superhard ceramics and carbon nanostructures including graphene." The award will be presented to him at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego on March 27, 2012. Read about Kaner's research on graphene supercapacitors.

Scientists use silver nanowires to make LCD screen electrodes. A new method for making transparent electrodes in LCD screens could replace more expensive indium tin oxide ones (ITO). The silver nanowire electrodes made by researchers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are flexible and highly conductive, and overcome the limitations associated with ITO. "In this work, we demonstrate a simple and effective solution method to achieve highly conductive AgNW composite films with excellent optical transparency and mechanical properties," said team leader, Prof Yang Yang. "This is by far the best solution: a processed, transparent electrode that is compatible with a wide variety of substrate choices."

How Big a Solar System? How Big a Battery System? Questions From the Lab. Professor Rajit Gadh, Director of the Smart Grid Energy Research Center at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, is leading an effort to answer such questions in the laboratory and then take the answers into the real world. Gadh talked with Green Tech Media about some questions his researchers are trying to better understand. Gadh also did a Q&A session with Panchabuta-Renewable Energy & Cleantech in India on smart grids in India.

Trainees Leland Smith and Rita Blaik (both advised by Prof. Bruce Dunn) contributed to the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program Final Project Report, prepared for the California Energy Commission. The report was a joint effort by UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley School of Law. The California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program supports public interest energy research and development that will help improve the quality of life in California by binging environmentally safe, affordable, and reliable energy services and products to the marketplace. Read the report as a PDF.

ReSET 2012

CGI is proud to present the Renewable & Sustainable Energy Technology Workshop (ReSET) on April 12-13, 2012. Please visit ReSET 2012 for more information. A video archive of ReSET 2012 is available for viewing.

Recent Publications

Prof. Dunn and Prof. Tolbert joint collaboration

V. Augustyn, J. Come, M.A. Lowe, J.W. Kim, P.L. Taberna, S.H. Tolbert, H.D. Abruna, P. Simon, and B. Dunn. "High-rate electrochemical energy storage through Li+ intercalation pseudocapacitance", Nat Mater, DOI: 10.1038/nmat3601 (2013).

I.E. Rauda, V. Augustyn, B. Dunn, and S.H. Tolbert, "Enhancing Pseudocapacitive Charge Storage in Polymer Templated Mesoporous Materials", Accounts of Chemical Research, DOI: 10.1021/ar300167h (2013).

Prof. Hoek and Prof. Kaner joint collaboration

Y. Liao, D.G. Yu, X. Wang, W. Chain, X.G. Li, E.M.V. Hoek, and R.B. Kaner, "Carbon nanotube-templated polyaniline nanofibers: synthesis, flash welding and ultrafiltration membranes", Nanoscale, 5, 3856-3862 (2013).

Prof. Kaner and Prof. Tolbert joint collaboration

R. Mohammadi, M. Xie, A.T. Lech, C.L. Turner, A. Kavner, S.H. Tolbert, and R.B. Kaner, "Toward Inexpensive Superhard Materials: Tungsten Tetraboride-Based Solid Solutions", J. Amer Chem. Soc., 134 (51), 20660-20668 (2012).

A. Kavner, M.M. Armentrout, E.S.G. Rainey, M. Xie, B.E. Weaver, S.H. Tolbert, and R.B. Kaner, "Thermoelastic properties of ReB2 at high pressures and temperatures and comparison with Pt, Os, and Re", Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 093518 (2011).

Prof. Pilon and Prof. Tolbert joint collaboration

J. Fang, C.B. Kang, Y. Huang, S.H. Tolbert, and L. Pilon, "Thermal Conductivity of Ordered Mesoporous Nanocrystalline Silicon Thin Films Made from Magnesium Reduction of Polymer-Templated Silica", J. Phys. Chem. C, 116 (23), 12926-12933 (2012).

J. Fang, C. Reitz, T. Brezesinski, E.J. Nemanick, C.B. Kang, S.H. Tolbert, and L. Pilon, "Thermal Conductivity of Highly-Ordered Mesoporous Titania Thin Films from 30 to 320 K", J. Phys. Chem. C, 115 pp. 14606-14614 (2011).

Prof. Tolbert, Prof. Wang, and Prof. Yang joint collaboration

A.J. Hong, J. Kim, K. Kim, Y. Wang, F. Xiu, J. Jeon, J. Park, I. Rauda, L.M. Chen, Y. Yang, S.H. Tolbert, J. Zou, and K.L. Wang, "Cr Metal Thin Film Memory", Journal of Applied Physics, 110, 054504 (2011).

For more joint collaboration publications, please see Research.