Energy, environment research highlighted in new name for building

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — At its July meeting, the Penn State Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the Materials Research Laboratory to the Energy and the Environment Laboratory. The lab's name was changed to more accurately represent the research occurring in the building.

Tom Richard, director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE), requested the name change in light of the Materials Research Institute’s move to the Millennium Science Complex in 2011.

“The building is now designed and managed to foster interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy and the environment. We have co-located four clusters of researchers organized around carbon research, solar energy, batteries and energy storage, and material-environment interactions,” Richard said. “Each of these topics is critical to our society’s energy future, and the interactions within and among these clusters is already generating exciting novel science and creative solutions.”

He added that the building will aid in recruitment and retention of top-notch faculty who focus on interdisciplinary energy and environmental research.

The largest occupant in the Energy and the Environment Laboratory is the Batteries and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center, which includes a half-dozen faculty and their associated research groups. The carbon research portfolio includes carbon dioxide utilization and storage, carbon soot, carbon materials, and the use of carbon to explore human impacts, ranging from ancient societies to modern climate change. The carbon-impacts research is leveraging IEE’s accelerator mass spectrometer, a new shared instrument that provides world-leading precision for dating ancient carbon from bone, wood or ice-trapped carbon dioxide.

The Energy and the Environment Laboratory is located on Hastings Road across from parking lot 43.

IEE, which manages the building, is one of seven interdisciplinary research institutes at Penn State. It fosters and facilitates interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration to positively impact important energy and environmental challenges. IEE brings together more than 500 extraordinary faculty, staff and students to advance the energy and environmental research missions of the University.

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Last Updated October 25, 2017