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J.C. Randolph
Center for Research in Energy and the Environment

Wallace Tyner
Center for Energy Systems and Policy

Last modified: Thursday, October 30, 2008

IU and Purdue form consortium to further energy-related research

Oct. 30, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- Purdue and Indiana universities have again joined forces, this time to expand research exploring crucial issues surrounding energy production, distribution and use.

The two institutions have jointly created the Indiana Consortium for Research in Energy Systems and Policy to advance interdisciplinary research related to energy systems and environmental and energy policy issues. Members of the consortium include IU Bloomington, Purdue University in West Lafayette and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The consortium will be inaugurated with a conference held at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center in Indianapolis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.

"This offers yet another excellent opportunity for our two faculties to collaborate on a problem of great importance and enormous complexity," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "Those who shape our future energy policies will require a thorough understanding of the interplay of the environmental, technological and economic forces that affect their decisions. This consortium has the broad range of expertise needed to examine these issues in a systematic way."

IU Bloomington will participate in the consortium primarily through its new Center for Research in Energy and the Environment, which focuses on IU's strengths in environmental sciences and public policy. J.C. Randolph, a forest ecologist and professor of environmental science at IU, will help lead CRESP on the Bloomington campus. IU Bloomington's Center for Research in Energy and the Environment is administered through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in cooperation with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

At Purdue, the Center for Research in Energy Systems and Policy will lead the effort, focusing on Purdue's strengths in engineering and technology with an economic analysis component. Wallace Tyner, professor of agricultural economics and co-chair of the Purdue center, will manage the Purdue portion of the consortium.

"Our energy future poses a technical, economic and social challenge," said Purdue President France Cordova. "Purdue and IU each have significant strengths in energy systems and will bring together all our resources to develop solutions."

At IUPUI, the consortium's primary participant will be the Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy. Andrew Hsu, professor of mechanical engineering, is director of the Lugar Center. "The mission of the Lugar Center is to pursue collaborative research that addresses society's needs for renewable energy sources, better energy security, and a reduction in global warming," said Hsu. "CRESP will stimulate new synergies and partnerships that will really help to spur our research."

The consortium's primary goals include facilitating the formation of interdisciplinary and multi-institution research teams; securing funding for research team projects; and conducting objective research focused on meaningful solutions to challenges resulting from increased demand for energy resources.

Wallace Tyner

Wallace Tyner

"The consortium will help researchers at all three institutions move from discipline-specific approaches to address energy problems from a more comprehensive energy-systems perspective," said Tyner.

CRESP's scope is broad, encompassing both renewable energy and fossil energy. It will bring together scientists and economists working on topics related to carbon sequestration, climate change and other environmental issues. One example is technical and economic research related to electric vehicles, battery technology and electricity pricing.

"The consortium's foci are relevant to the economies of the Midwestern states, particularly Indiana, where about 96 percent of the state's electricity is generated in facilities fueled by coal," said J.C. Randolph, of IU Bloomington. "At the same time, Indiana also has significant amounts of forested lands that sequester carbon and significant agricultural production of renewable energy resources such as corn and soybeans."

For more information on Friday's inaugural CRESP conference, see or contact J.C. Randolph at 812-855-4953 or Wallace Tyner at 765-494-0199.