Cornell research project and start-up receive millions of dollars in federal grants
Two university researchers and a Cornell startup have been selected to receive more than $7 million in funding from the United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
On February 16, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announcement ARPA-E grants, which aim to fund projects that advance clean energy technologies. 68 projects have been selected for funding in 22 states to participate in the 2021 ARPA-E Open program.
Professor Khurram Afridi, Electrical and Computer Engineering, leads the Field-Focused Load-Leveled Dynamic Wireless Charging System for Electric Vehicles project, which aims to create a wireless charging system for electric vehicles. This project could drastically reduce the need for car batteries and advance the market for electric vehicles worldwide. Afridi’s project will receive $1.425 million from the ARPA-E grant.
Professor Greeshma Gadikota, Civil and Environmental Engineering, is leading a research project to advance a low carbon environment with inherent utilization of concrete waste and carbon dioxide through integrated electrochemical, chemical and biological pathways. The Gadikota project will receive $2.5 million.
“The technology…would replace thermally intensive processes of building materials production with integrated electrochemical and chemical approaches that utilize carbon dioxide emissions and construction and demolition materials,” one university said. Press release on the Gadikota project.
The latest university project funded by federal grants is a startup created by Jason Salfi ’92, Professor David Erickson, Mechanical Engineering, and Professor Tobias Hanrath, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Their project will use additive manufacturing systems to 3D print ceramic components for innovative chemical reactors that can run on low-carbon electricity sources.
Lynden Archer, Dean of Engineering Joseph Silbert, expressed his gratitude for funding the project, saying the projects demonstrate the innovation the University is applying to the global energy supply challenge.
“We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his commitment to scientific research and his unwavering support of ARPA-E, which is accelerating the technological advances needed to solve our world’s most pressing problems,” Archer wrote at a university. Press release.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm described the need to fund these projects as the nation tackles the ongoing climate crisis.
“Universities, corporations and our national labs are redoubling their efforts to advance the innovation and manufacturing of clean energy technologies in America to provide essential energy solutions from renewables to fusion energy to fight against the climate crisis,” Granholm wrote in a Press release of the US Department of Energy.
In her announcement of the grants, Schumer explained how critical investment in environmental research at Cornell is to advancing clean energy solutions nationwide.
“From the push to decarbonize 100% of its building to groundbreaking research at Cornell University, many now recognize what I’ve known for a long time – Ithaca is leading the way to a greener, ‘throat’ future,” Schumer said.
The University has been a leader in sustainability for years. In 2020, after eight years of maintaining a gold rating from the Sustainability Monitoring, Evaluation and Rating System – a organization which ranks universities based on their sustainability performance – the University has been recognized as a platinum-rated institution for its sustainability efforts. Cornell is the only Ivy League institution to receive a platinum rating, the organization’s highest rating category, from STARS.
The University was also one of the first 50 campuses in the nation and the first Ivy League to commit to carbon neutrality.
Climate change issues have long resonated in the Cornell community, with students making various efforts to fight climate change and encourage the University to divest from the use of fossil fuels.