Monday, April 6, 2020

Center for Advanced Energy Studies announces participants in third annual Summer Visiting Faculty Program

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies' 55,000-square-foot building in Idaho Falls
The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) Leadership team is pleased to announce the selected participants for the 2020 CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program (CSVFP). In its third year, this collaborative program was created in 2018 to promote one-on-one partnerships and collaboration between university faculty and researchers at Idaho National Laboratory in order to form unified research teams to address critical issues in energy-related science and engineering.

CAES is a research, education, and innovation consortium consisting of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming: Boise State University (BSU), Idaho State University (ISU), University of Idaho (UI), and University of Wyoming (UW). Students and researchers perform collaborative research at locations at all five institutions and at the 55,000-square-foot CAES building in Idaho Falls. CAES harnesses the power of collaboration by leveraging the expertise, capabilities, and facilities among consortium members.

The CAES strategy of one-on-one partnerships builds and sustains a research collaboration ecosystem in seven focus areas: nuclear energy; energy-water nexus; cybersecurity; advanced manufacturing; innovative energy systems; energy policy; and computing, data, and visualization. The CSVFP is one of the tools used to implement that strategy. It generates the mechanism to establish the initial partnerships and requires participants to develop a joint-funded research proposal for submission to DOE or other energy-focused federal and state agencies. If funded, the proposal would sustain the partnership for years.

The program allows faculty members to learn about the inner workings of a national laboratory, its capabilities and expertise, and to build lasting networks. It gives INL researchers the chance to build new academic connections, access diversified funding sources, and connect with students supporting the faculty member. Students are involved throughout the process, thus training a new generation of energy-related scientists and engineers and offering the faculty-researcher connections that build a diverse pipeline for students to transition from university to employment at the national laboratory.

The annual program begins in May, when university faculty spend a week in residence at INL to brainstorm ideas with their INL counterparts and learn about capabilities, then return home and work remotely but collaboratively for two months on proposal writing. (Plans are underway this year to hold the kickoff week online rather than in person due to COVID-19.) Proposals are presented remotely to an internal review panel, then revised over two weeks before faculty return to INL for presentations and networking. The written proposals are submitted to the CAES Executive Board as a program deliverable, with the final proposal to be submitted later in the year in response to an appropriate funding opportunity announcement.

Here are the participants for the 2020 CSVFP: