Letter from the Director
As the world completes another record-breaking year of global warming, we should all rightly look to the future with trepidation. But it’s just as important to celebrate the good news: not only is the global transition to clean energy already happening, it’s also gaining substantial and sorely needed momentum. Along with more than 100 countries from all over the world, the U.S. has committed to reducing carbon levels and mitigating many of the urgent risks posed to us all by climate change. Our health, our communities, and our economies are already benefiting from our efforts to develop cleaner and more resilient energy systems.
Forward in Energy
We connected with energy stakeholders, welcomed groups from all over the world, and provided a place for the exchange of forward-looking ideas.
WEI’s outreach programs touch thousands of K-12 students, teachers, business people, and community members throughout the state of Wisconsin.
World-class Energy Research
This “super yeast” could double the efficiency of converting plant sugars to biofuel.
A newly discovered pair of catalysts cut the amount of electricity needed to convert biomass to fuel.
Bacteria are providing key insights into the enzymes that degrade plant sugars.
A new study suggests we could increase the degradability of a vast array of plants.
A UW–Madison team uses vibration from the ground to generate electricity.
Collaboration, with industry and within academia, is key to this ambitious research on re-working the electric grid.
Far-reaching Education & Outreach
UW–Madison student Emily Blase is building a team, a wind turbine, and her résumé.
The Wisconsin Energy and Sustainability Challenge rewarded undergraduate students for new technologies and approaches to global stewardship.
MATC student Greg Desjarlais spent the summer studying switchgrass alongside professor of agronomy Mike Casler.
Crawford County teacher Lisa Andresen brought a hands-on energy curriculum back to her students.
Two Wisconsin teachers spent seven weeks conducting bioenergy research and developing new lessons for their students.
High Impact Public Policy & Industrial Engagement
UW–Madison professor Jim Dumesic’s GVL technology is the basis of GlucanBio, a spinoff that converts biomass into three streams of industrial chemicals.
UW–Madison spin-off Lactic Solutions will provide ethanol plants with an antibiotic-free microbial solution that improves yield and increases the value of co-products.
UW–Madison spin-off Xylome uses new yeast strains to more efficiently convert cellulosic biomass to fuel.
The U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Centers, which includes the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, filed their 500th invention disclosure in 2016.
Johnson Controls is partnering with UW–Madison to enhance the performance of battery energy storage systems.
WEI’s Bruce Beihoff forges the partnerships between university researchers and industry that help bring impact and innovation to the energy sector.
We thrive thanks to contributions from our community of supporters. Donor support strengthens our efforts to move the state, nation, and world forward in energy.
A look at the awards, career highlights, and some of the energy-focused research grants of UW–Madison energy experts.