Partnership with Japanese university expanded to improve energy efficiency


Photo Courtesy of Mark Coon

Kyushu University and the University renewed their academic exchange agreement. The University hopes to advance low-carbon emissions, cost-effective energy systems and the improvement of energy efficiency.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

With a 10-year agreement coming to an end within the next few months, the University and Kyushu University in Japan decided to expand initiatives to other colleges to advance and improve energy efficiency.

In April 2010, the University and Kyushu formed the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research. The funding has been coming from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan.

As the agreement is set to expire in March, the two schools have expanded these initiatives to advance low-carbon emissions, cost-effective energy systems and the improvement of energy efficiency through a Memorandum of Understanding.

“When it comes to research in the area of hydrogen materials interactions, Illinois has been a world leader in the past 50 years,” said Petros Sofronis, Director of I2CNR and professor in Engineering, according to a press release.

In the same statement, Sofronis said Kyushu has one of the world’s best hydrogen research facilities.

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    During the current partnership, the National Science Foundation has been funding a center in which undergraduate and graduate students from the University were able to participate in a 10-week exchange program with Kyusha.

    The future of this collaboration could include developing the next generation of smart grid energy systems and “to partner in the areas of food microbiology/fermentation, nutrition and cognition, environmental economics and medical education for the future as well as continue the successful relationship focusing on hydrogen and low-carbon energy.”

    “By establishing a strategic partnership with the University of Illinois, Kyushu University hopes to be able to link research and education in a wider range of academic and human resource development fields in addition to existing strong cooperation in the energy field,” said Masato Wakayama, Executive Vice President of Kyushu University.

    Wakayama continued in his statement saying Kyushu University hopes to promote activities that contribute to academic and sustainable development.

    “The expanding collaboration between the University of Illinois and Kyushu University provides an excellent opportunity to build on the ten-year relationship our universities established through IC2NER, to capitalize on our mutual strengths as we broaden our engagement and explore innovative solutions to pressing global problems,” said Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, in the same press release.

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