Faculty members at The University of Alabama (UA) are working alongside Energy Alabama to provide students and local businesses with clean energy education and empowerment programs as the result of funds provided through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. The two respective groups, known collectively as the Alabama Energy Transformation Initiative (AETI), will enable a just and equitable transition to clean energy in Alabama by workforce development, while helping businesses enhance energy efficiency and conserve energy. The AETI team also hopes to strengthen student recruitment and retention in STEM programs and help students find career opportunities in clean energy.
AETI is led by principal investigator and UA mechanical engineering assistant professor Dr. Hyun Jin Kim with the help of four other UA mechanical engineering faculty members including Dr. Joseph Carpenter, Dr. Forooza Samadi, Dr. Shahriar (Sean) Amini and Dr. Keith Woodbury. The team is also comprised of collaborators from UA’s department of political science and Capstone Center for Student Success as well as Energy Alabama, a local nonprofit organization.
AETI was one of 18 groups and organizations selected to receive a portion of the $3.6 million awarded through the Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize. According to the DOE, the program is “a first-of-its-kind competition designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation in communities historically underserved in federal climate and energy technology funding. The Inclusive Energy Innovation Prize supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative to put environmental and economic justice at the center of America’s transition to a net-zero economy by 2050.”