Welch Renewable Energy Initiative

The Welch Renewable Energy Initiative (REI) within the CEC began in September 2008 with major funding from the Robert A. Welch Foundation. The REI mission is to catalyze discovery and advances in electrochemical science and engineering that can lead to next-generation renewable energy technology products.

Research Thrusts

REI research is focused on three high-risk/high-payoff thrust areas related to clean energy.

  • Novel Low Cost Materials for Photovoltaic and Photoelectrochemical Cells
  • Stable High-Voltage Electrolytes for Electrochemical Energy Storage
  • Transformative Electrocatalyst Discovery


CEC Faculty Seed Grants

Funding is available for initial exploration of paradigm-shifting approaches to electrochemical science. UT-Austin faculty associated with the CEC are able to submit proposals for small amounts of seed funding for high-risk, high-reward, ideas related to the goals of REI. These small grants allow the purchase of needed apparatus and supplies to test a concept and to obtain preliminary results needed for funding from external sources.

Proposals are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and may be submitted to the CEC Executive Committee at any time.


Visiting Scholars and Professorships

Innovation does not occur in isolated environments, and CEC solicits participation by visionary scientists and engineers from other institutions, including domestic and overseas universities, national laboratories, and industry. These visits, ranging from one week to one year, stimulate original thinking and act as a focal point to draw members of the CEC together to accomplish the Center's scientific and engineering goals.

CEC Welch Visiting Scholars:

Jean-Michel Savéant, Université Paris Diderot February 3-7, 2010
Hubert Girault, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne February 3-7, 2010

Past CEC Welch Visiting Scholars:

Tom Moffat, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
November 9-13, 2009
John Turner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) March, 2009
Steve Feldberg, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)   October 2-8, 2008
Henry S. White, University of Utah November 3-7, 2008


CEC Welch Student Fellowships

As part of the Welch Renewable Energy Initiative, the CEC has established a graduate student fellowship program for incoming first-year graduate students wishing to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Materials Science, or Engineering with special emphasis in electrochemical science and technology.

Eligible candidates must have completed their B.S. degree or at least be in their final year of study as undergraduates or in the completion of a MS degree as graduates in science or engineering disciplines.

Applications for CEC Welch Student Fellowships must be received by March 15 in order to be considered for that year's entering class.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Fellowships page.