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Sustaining the Urban Environment Named an Advanced Energy Center of Excellence at the University of Cincinnati

Governor Ted Strickland and the Ohio Board of Regents name nine centers of excellence at eight universities across Ohio.

Date: 10/28/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826

UC ingot   In the first of what will be five rounds of naming Centers of Excellence to align with the state’s targeted industries and to keep talent in Ohio, Governor Strickland and Chancellor Eric Fingerhut have now announced the Advanced Energy Centers of Excellence. The University of Cincinnati’s Sustaining the Urban Environment is among them.

The University of Cincinnati’s Sustaining the Urban Environment Center of Excellence will improve the health and wealth of Ohio’s urban dwellers through the development of technologies that promote the evolution of economically and environmentally sustainable urban regions. The goal is to design for life and work in a manner that sustains our environment and resources for the benefit of present and future generations. [See “Getting Off the Grid and Unpacking the Jargon about Sustainable Urban Engineering (SUE).”]

While more than 80 percent of the population of the United States lives in urban environments and megacities around the globe devouring natural and energy resources at unprecedented scales, there is little emphasis on how such growth can be sustained. Issues such as carbon footprints, co-generation, gasification, biofuel development and emissions of air pollutants will represent major challenges to sustaining urban environments and will be addressed through collaborations in this center.

The University of Cincinnati’s Sustaining the Urban Environment Center of Excellence maintains vital partnerships with local businesses to explore sustainability solutions that have also led to industry growth. These partnerships include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; GE Aviation; the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health; Pegasus, Inc.; Battelle; AGENDA 360; Green Cincinnati Plan; and the Hamilton County Climate Initiative.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science has just approved a new undergraduate degree program in energy and materials engineering, which will begin in 2010. With a specific focus on developing a “green collar” workforce — the fastest growing economic sector — the SUE Center of Excellence produces graduates who are highly skilled in the environmental (engineering, health and science) field. Construction in urban environments created 482,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2007 according to the Associated General Contractors of America. The SUE Center is also an NSF Award 2009–2012 recipient for its “Economic Development through Green Entrepreneurship (EDGE)” initiative.

The University of Cincinnati, with the other seven universities, is committed to focusing its academic and research activities within advanced energy to achieve national and international distinction to ultimately drive the global competitiveness of Ohio’s economy.

For Additional Information

Ohio Centers of Excellence

Governor Strickland’s Senate Bill 221

Ohio’s 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education

"Getting Off the Grid and Unpacking the Jargon about Sustainable Urban Engineering"
Sustainable urban engineering is a popular topic but what the heck does it mean?

UC's Virtual Research Tour: Advancing Algae's Potential