Louisiana Tech Part of Team Awarded Record-Breaking $160 Million NSF Grant

Jan 31, 2024 | Engineering and Science, General News, Research

Louisiana Tech Univerity and FUEL partnership logo

Louisiana Tech University is a key member of a team that attracted the largest and most competitive grant ever awarded by the National Science Foundation—up to $160 million over the next 10 years. Future Use of Energy in Louisiana (FUEL) is a statewide effort that includes more than 50 public and private partners from throughout Louisiana. The team of universities, community and technical colleges, state agencies, and industry and capital partners share an aligned vision for positioning the state to lead the global energy transition.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and the investment will compound as we discover eco-friendly innovations with commercial implications,” Executive Vice President for Research and Chief Research Officer Sumeet Dua said. “Being on the forefront with new energy and decarbonization technologies will attract business and industry to Louisiana and will foster the development of a more sustainable and inclusive workforce.”

The collaborative FUEL partnership brings diverse perspectives to the table to effectively address the complex challenges of the energy transition. FUEL will advance our nation’s capacity for energy innovation through use-inspired research and development, workforce development, and technology commercialization. The partnership will fund essential projects to find more efficient and cleaner solutions to reduce the carbon footprint.

FUEL partners include more than 25 institutions of higher education. In addition to NSF’s $160 million, Louisiana Economic Development will contribute $67.5 million over the next decade to help convert research into practical energy solutions.

Thomas C. & Nelda Jeffery Professor of Chemical Engineering and Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Daniela Mainardi is leading Louisiana Tech’s efforts as one of the co-principal investigators on the project.

“The Louisiana Tech team is expected to play a key role in the various FUEL Governance Subcommittees,” Mainardi said. “We are committed to help facilitate the mechanisms for collaborating with industry leaders, academia and government entities to foster a robust ecosystem that promotes sustainable and clean energy solutions for Louisiana.”

NSF’s strategic investment in Louisiana marks a significant milestone in fostering economic growth and prosperity for the state and thriving energy industry. Louisiana will drive the development of cutting-edge technologies and create new jobs that support carbon management initiatives.

“This unprecedented investment pairing resources with existing talent will impact how we produce and use energy,” Director of the Institute of Micromanufacturing and FUEL Louisiana Tech Team member, Dr. Arden Moore said. “Ultimately we stand to expand beyond the 250,000 Louisianians already working in energy.”

The NSF considered more than 700 concepts before allowing 188 teams to submit grant proposals last year.