Energy innovation impacts some of the most pressing issues of our time: quality of life, climate change, security, economic stability and growth, and equity. GW has an established, strong, collaborative research foundation in energy innovation. There are active interdisciplinary research projects across core focus areas such as energy as an equity enabler, multi-length scale materials for efficiency, next generation networks for electricity, heating, and cooling.
A key activity of our energy innovation research is to create high-profile demonstrations of research in action. For example, Professor Saniya LeBlanc, is using the campus’s combined heat and power plant, rooftop solar power systems, and solar water heating as a “living laboratory” to build a framework that can determine how an urban energy system will hold up to challenges like a major heatwave that taxes the system or a storm that causes a grid outage. Her interdisciplinary research team uses modeling and hardware-in-the-loop laboratory demonstrations to determine the system’s reliability, resiliency and vulnerability. Mansi Talwar, a GW graduate and now GW’s Executive Director of Engineering, Utilities and Energy, said the beauty of this partnership is that it combines the university’s core missions of teaching and research with its ambitious sustainability goals.