UF, China’s Zhejiang University to collaborate on clean energy research

Filed under Top Stories, Announcements on July 24, 2008.

uf-zhejiang_university_group_photo.jpgGAINESVILLE, Fla. — Thirteen members of one of China’s top universities visited the University of Florida this week to discuss collaboration and begin planning a joint research center on clean energy.

Researchers at Hangzhou-based Zhejiang University (ZHU), one of China’s top three universities, plan to work with their UF counterparts on research and educational efforts aimed at sustainable solutions to the world’s energy problems, said Eric Wachsman, professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy. Such a collaboration is appropriate in light of both countries’ increasing energy consumption, reliance on fossil fuels and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, he said.

“As China’s standard of living increases, so does its consumption of energy and emission of greenhouse gasses,” Wachsman said. “Florida is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change because of sea level rise, and both countries need clean affordable energy to sustain their environment and economies. So this agreement provides a tremendous opportunity for Florida to work with China to address an issue that concerns both of us.”

Officials from the universities signed a Memorandum of Understating to establish a Joint Research Center of Clean Sustainable Energy among the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy at UF, the State Key Lab of Clean Energy Utilization and the Institute for Thermal Power Engineering at ZJU.

During the visit, faculty members from both universities held discussions to define joint projects focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable technologies. ZJU and UF will use their complementary strengths to conduct joint research for the development of sustainable energy, as well as enhance their educational programs by student/faculty exchange and other appropriate means. The two universities will also collaborate in commercializing developed technologies with an eye toward a global impact.

The team members from ZJU included Minjiang Ni, executive president; Kefa Cen, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and dean, College of Mechanical and Energy Engineering and director, Institute for Thermal Power Engineering; JianHua Yan, professor and director of the graduate school and Zhongyang Luo, professor and deputy dean, College of Mechanical and Energy and director, State Key Laboratory for Clean Energy Utilization.

Photo Credit: David Blankenship



Eric Wachsman, ewach@mse.ufl.edu, 352-846-2991