ExxonMobil announced that it will invest $15 million as a leadership member of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute to pursue technologies to help meet growing energy demand while reducing environmental impacts and the risk of climate change.
The joint research initiative will study transformational energy innovations including integrating renewable energy sources into the current supply mix and advancing traditional energy sources in ways that improve efficiency and reduce impacts on water, air and climate.
Research projects are expected to cover a range of emerging technologies, and will take advantage of the university’s capabilities in renewable energy, battery technologies and power grid modeling. Core strengths in advanced computing, environmental management, and additive manufacturing may be applied to improve the efficiency of delivering traditional energy sources.
“The University of Texas at Austin has extensive experience and expertise in identifying innovative energy technologies,” said Sara Ortwein, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.
“Our scientists and engineers look forward to collaborating with UT’s faculty and students through the Energy Institute to develop breakthrough technologies that can help reduce emissions.”
The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute fosters interdisciplinary study of critical energy questions, leveraging expertise across several schools and colleges, including the Jackson School of Geosciences, Cockrell School of Engineering and College of Natural Sciences. This strategic engagement will utilize an umbrella agreement framework to facilitate collaborative research between ExxonMobil and the university.
“The University of Texas at Austin is proud and deeply appreciative of its long history of collaboration in education and research with ExxonMobil,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of the university. “This investment further unites two of the world's leading energy organizations to pursue innovations for a better energy future.”
ExxonMobil is an industry leader in carbon capture and storage technology and will expand its collaboration with the university’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center, a multidisciplinary group that has specialized in geological sequestration of carbon dioxide since 1998. This research will complement ExxonMobil’s recently announced partnership with FuelCell Energy, Inc. to advance carbonate fuel cell technology to enhance the affordability of carbon capture from natural gas-fueled power plants.
ExxonMobil has collaborated with more than 80 universities worldwide in researching breakthrough energy technologies. Last year, the company joined Princeton’s E-filliates Partnership, a corporate affiliates program administered by Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. E-ffiliates fosters collaboration with industry in pursuing energy and environmental innovation. ExxonMobil committed $5 million over five years, the largest financial commitment the program had received. In 2014, ExxonMobil became a founding member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative, investing $25 million over five years toward research and graduate-level energy fellowships.