ConocoPhillips has committed to contribute $1.5 million over five years to support cutting-edge energy research at The University of Texas at Austin.
The five-year grant, administered through the university's interdisciplinary Energy Institute, is split evenly between the Cockrell School of Engineering and the McCombs School of Business. The Energy Institute provides guidance to the state of Texas and the nation on sustainable energy security through the pursuit of research and education programs.
The Energy Management and Innovation Center at the McCombs School taps energy-related expertise from within and outside the school to contribute to better understanding of economic, commercial and policy issues related to the production, distribution and consumption of energy. One focus of the center is the development and commercialization of new sustainable energy sources.
Scientists in the Cockrell School are at work on carbon capture and large-scale storage of alternative energy, as well as sunlight-to-fuels, which attempts to mimic the process plants use to capture sunlight and grow. Researchers are also looking into ways to mitigate the environmental impact of fossil fuels to improve their sustainability.
"At ConocoPhillips, we believe that all energy sources will be needed in the future, including alternative and renewable sources," says Marianne Kah, chief economist for ConocoPhillips. "Supporting The University of Texas at Austin's Energy Institute is an opportunity for us to help advance their development."
With operations in more than 30 countries and about 30,000 employees, Houston-based ConocoPhillips is the third-largest integrated energy company in the United States.