Milwaukee Universities Partner for Energy Research

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), Marquette University and Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), in partnership with several regional companies and foundations, have formed the Southeastern Wisconsin Energy Technology Research Center (SWETRC).

SWETRC brings together regional resources to establish a national center that will develop high-potential research in the energy field, attracting large-scale funding and leading state-of-the-art technology that can foster economic growth.

Seven collaborative research projects are already underway with the support of $200,000 in federal funding and nearly $500,000 from several regional industries and foundations including the Rockwell Automation Charitable Corporation, the Wisconsin Energy Foundation, The Bradley Foundation, Eaton Corporation, Kohler Co., American Transmission Company, DRS Technologies, and ReGENco.

The formation of SWETRC marks the first time the colleges of engineering at UWM, Marquette and MSOE have collaborated on a major initiative.

“We are extremely fortunate to be able to establish this center in Milwaukee,” says Michael Lovell, dean of UWM’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. “It will not only stimulate the regional economy, but also bring the best research minds in Southeastern Wisconsin to bear in advancing energy solutions that will return benefits for the nation for generations to come.”

Marquette Opus Dean of Engineering Stanley Jaskolski applauded the collaborative nature of both the center and the individual research projects. “Working together, taking advantage of the expertise within each institution and among our business partners, we can accomplish much more,” he said. “These collaborations will speed the delivery of research-based solutions to some of our energy issues.”

“These collaborative projects will not only benefit the partnering businesses and organizations, but also influence our engineering students to consider careers in the extremely important and interesting fields of sustainability and energy,” said Tom Bray, dean of applied research at MSOE.

The following projects involve researchers from all three universities and industries across the region:

  • New energy storage technologies and power converter topologies for wind turbines; Adel Nasiri from UWM in partnership with Marquette University, MSOE, ZBB Energy Corporation, JSR Micro Inc., the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Eaton Corporation.
  • High Capacity Li-Ion Batteries Based on SnO2 Nanoparticles, Junhong Chen from UWM in partnership with Marquette University, Louisiana State University (LSU), Johnson Controls (JCI), and Argonne National Laboratory.
  • CO2 Recycling and Sequestration via Algae Grown with Coal-Fueled Power Plant Flue Gas, Carol Hirschmugl from UWM in partnership with Marquette University; MSOE; Università Polytecnica delle Marche, Italy; University of Tennessee-Knoxville; and We Energies.
  • Ultra efficient Si/SiGe nanowire thermoelectric materials for converting waste heat to electrical energy, Chung Hoon Lee from Marquette University in partnership with UWM, Rockwell Automation, and Kohler Co.
  • Developing a Business Case for Sustainable Asset Renewal of Existing Buildings, Carol Diggelman from MSOE in partnership with Marquette University, UWM, and Johnson Controls.
  • Probabilistic Methods for High Wind Penetrated Power Systems, Joe Bockhorst from UWM in partnership with American Transmission Company, 3Tier, and Invenergy LLC.
  • Design of Cost-competitive, Fuel-flexible, Low NOx Burners with a Range of Firing Rates, Jon Koch from Marquette University in partnership with UWM and A.O. Smith Corporation.