Research at the Energy Institute
One of the hallmarks of a Western Washington University education is student involvement in research. Across the university, faculty from engineering and the physical and social sciences are doing energy-related research. As academic offerings grow within the Institute, students across campus will assist faculty in research, from proposals to completion.
Energy research at WWU ranges from technical fields like engineering and chemistry to social science fields like economics and environmental planning. For instance, in Western's Advanced Material Sciences and Engineering Center, Dr. David Patrick is leading a team of graduate and undergraduate researchers to develop a high-efficiency, transparent solar photovoltaic window technology. In response to the growing need for clean energy assessment tools, energy economics faculty Sharon Shewmake and Reid Dorsey-Palmateer are working with students to study the to study the impact of energy efficiency upgrades on residential housing prices.
By bringing faculty with diverse disciplinary specializations together around a shared interest in energy issues, the Institute for Energy Studies is uniquely situated to stimulate research collaborations across the colleges. We are also working with the WWU Facilities Management team to develop student research and experiential learning on energy efficiency in the built environment, using WWU campus buildings as a living laboratory.
Vehicle Design, Engineering Technology (Leonhardt)
Consumer Response to Energy, Efficiency Labels
Geothermal exploration/feasibility studies, Geology (Stelling)
Solar/Wind Powered Forecasting, Physics (Johnson)
Solar Concentrators for Photocoltaics, AMSEC (Patrick, Gilbertson, Leger, Johnson, McDowell)
Photovoltaic materials, Physics (Leger)
Theory of electronic excitation, Chemistry (Kowalczyk)
Grid integration of electric vehicles,Energy Institute (Swisher)
Reliability of power grid: fault detection and identification,Electrical Engineering (Jiang)