The Lamp 2017

across the energy spectrum, across disciplines, and let cross- fertilization start to generate new and better ideas for the future.” The company will develop a similar collaborative relationship with Stanford’s GCEP, whose program has significantly impacted the research world over the past decade. “Our initial investment at Stanford led to increasing the size of the research community in energy,” says Nazeer Bhore, ExxonMobil manager, lead generation and downstream breakthrough research. “In the past 10 years, the program has impacted more than 900 graduate and postdoctoral students. They authored more than 850 papers in leading journals and received more than 35,000 citations of GCEP research. This research enabled the creation of many new startups. The impact is phenomenal,” Bhore notes. energy center engagements will have a similar impact to expand fundamental research applicable to the industry. “For example, at MIT, we’re working with the artificial intelligence researchers who planned the Mars Rover mission,” Thomann says. “We’re developing self-learning, submersible robots that can monitor the depths of the oceans: mapping and analyzing them, and gauging their health. The MIT team is also looking at technology developed for the far reaches of our solar system. Advantage of adjacency ExxonMobil hopes that its

Our collaboration allows us to apply technological advances in adjacent areas. “We also joined the MIT Energy Initiative’s Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Center, which is one of eight Low-Carbon Energy Centers,” he adds. “We want to broaden the portfolio of technical options to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” By working through universities’ energy centers, ExxonMobil can broaden the scope of research opportunities and provide greater access to faculty members. “In the past, we might have developed an individual relationship with one institute at the university,” Matturro notes. “Now, through each university’s energy center, we have a portal for working across all institutions on campus.” At Princeton, Dankworth plans to take advantage of the university’s strong liberal arts program, working with public affairs, economics, psychology and social science experts in diverse fields to understand how people make decisions and how societies change, which can impact the deployment speed of energy solutions. To launch its programs at universities, ExxonMobil conducts one- to two-day workshops with the faculty and leadership of the energy centers. “Our scientists get a chance to listen to faculty members and their areas of research to see where their capabilities and our interests overlap,” Matturro says. “Having an umbrella agreement in place fosters collaboration

David Dankworth, distinguished scientific adviser, EMRE

advance technologies that will power our future while addressing the global challenges of climate change and energy access.” “By working across universities, where innovation is inherently occurring at a very rapid pace involving multiple disciplines, we can see how research in one field can have an impact on another,” Thomann notes. Princeton’s Andlinger Center, 35 miles from the ExxonMobil Clinton, New Jersey, is looking at alternative energies for the future. Current research projects include the development of organic photovoltaic materials, extending battery lifetime and cycle efficiency, using low-temperature plasmas to convert methane into other products and the impact of carbon dioxide on oceans. “We need close collaborations between academics and industrial practitioners in order to catalyze Research and Engineering (EMRE) research center in

emerging energy technologies and implement them for the wider world,” says Yueh-Lin “Lynn” Loo, director of the Andlinger Center. “At the center, ExxonMobil can gain insight to leading-edge research. Faculty, research scholars and students can explore how ideas make the leap from lab tomarket.” Research at the UT Energy Institute will capitalize on the university’s expertise in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and strengths in geoscience and petroleum engineering. ExxonMobil is an industry leader in CCS, with a working interest in about one-fourth of the world’s capacity. “By partnering with UT, the company can tap into trends and cutting-edge research across academic disciplines,” says Tom Edgar, director of UT’s Energy Institute. “The goal is to get people together and start learning from each other, identifying opportunities


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