UVic nurtures clean energy partnerships with China

- Valerie Shore

In June, a team of University of Victoria researchers travelled to China to share insights with Chinese colleagues on emerging clean energy technologies.

Vice-President Research Dr. Howard Brunt and six researchers from the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic)—Drs. Brad Buckham, Curran Crawford, Ned Djilali, Zuomin Dong, Jay Sui and Peter Wild—participated in the first annual Canada-China Clean Energy Workshop. It was held at Peking University and attended by researchers from 10 of the top universities in China.

The aim of the workshop—which focused on specialized areas of energy and fuel cell development—was to develop connections and opportunities for collaborative research and graduate-level education. It was organized by Dong, chair of UVic’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Prof. Xinrong Zhang of Peking University.

In addition to attending the workshop, the UVic researchers travelled to eight Chinese universities where they toured laboratory facilities and further developed plans for research collaboration.

“The global significance of developing clean technologies makes IESVic a natural for helping UVic to strategically forge deep and lasting research and educational linkages with international universities,” says Brunt. “China is quickly emerging as a clean energy leader, making their universities natural partners for us.”

With 15 UVic faculty members and more than 35 graduate students working with industry partners in Canada and abroad, IESVic has helped UVic become a world leader in energy and fuel research.

According to the international newsletter Science Watch, UVic is the fifth most influential university in the world in the field of energy and fuels, as measured by the citation impact of the top 100 scientific articles per institution published between 1998 and 2008. In North America, only Princeton, Cornell and the US National Energy Lab performed better.

The trip to China was extremely successful, says Wild, director of IESVic. “Many opportunities for researcher-to-researcher collaboration were identified, and a framework to pursue these collaborations was developed.”

The second annual workshop will be hosted by UVic in May 2011 and will include leading energy system researchers from across Canada and China.

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Keywords: clean energy, industry partnerships, China, research

People: Howard Brunt, Brad Buckham, Curran Crawford, Ned Djilali, Zuomin Dong, Jay Sui, Peter Wild

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