The increasing consumption of petroleum deposits and the escalating air pollution problems caused by burning fossil fuels have driven the global research community to look for clean and renewable energy sources. Hydrogen, biofuel, and solar energy are among the most environmentally benign alternative energy sources. To build upon our strengths and to take the existing renewable energy programs on campus to the next level of international competitiveness, the Advanced Research Initiative for Substainable Energy (ARISE) was chosen as one of the eight Initial University Multidisciplinary Research Initiatives (IUMRIs).

Texas is traditionally an energy state and Texas A&M University has been known as an energy institute as evidenced by our world class Petroleum Engineering and Nuclear Engineering programs. The energy emphasis is also reflected in the existing renewable energy programs in the University. The Advanced Research Initiative for Substainable Energy (ARISE) will build upon our strengths and take these existing renewable energy programs to the next level of international competitiveness. ARISE plans to connect the fields of technology development, academic research, commercialization, and the policy landscape in the renewable energy field. It will not only facilitate the collaboration among multidisciplinary researchers within the University, but will also help to attract funds from federal, state, and private funding agencies.

The Future Hydrogen Economy

The aims of ARISE are to discover new concepts and materials for hydrogen production and storage, electrodes and membranes of fuel cells, efficient conversion of biofuels, and economic production of solar energy. The mission of ARISE includes: (1) Serving as a focal point for scientific research activities throughout the University in the renewable energy field. (2) Synergizing the efforts of multiple investigators and applying for major center grants from DOE, NSF, DOD, and other federal funding agencies. (3) Facilitating national and international collaborations among investigators in the development of new technology in the renewable energy field. (4) Promoting the use of renewable energy in the state and nation-wide. (5) Pioneering an integrated solar energy conversion, catalytic hydrogen production, and storage system for the complete conversion of solar energy to stored hydrogen on board a vehicle. (6) Developing new curricula in the renewable energy field and training the next generation of renewable energy researchers that will lead in the nations’ effort to achieve energy independence. The programs initiated by ARISE will ensure Texas A&M a leading role in this next wave of revolution in technology and will have a major impact on global environmental protection. The mission of ARISE is in line with Vision 2020 of the University and is consistent with the goals of all participating Colleges.