Colorado State University Clean Energy Supercluster Announces 2009 Seed Grants

The Clean Energy Supercluster has distributed its second round of seed grants to help foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and jumpstart larger research initiatives. A total of 10 grants totaling $192,300 were awarded.

More than 100 researchers across campus participate in the academic side of the Clean Energy Supercluster on everything from economics and policymaking to new energy sources.

"These researchers are at the cutting edge in their fields so we’re looking forward to their results and hope to share them with our business partners," said Professor Bryan Willson, chief scientific officer for the Clean Energy Supercluster.

Willson works closely with Tim Reeser, chief operating officer for Cenergy, the business arm of the Supercluster, that assists faculty members with possible commercialization of technological innovations. For more information about the Clean Energy Supercluster, visit

The 2009 seed grants (grant amount in parentheses):

-Biofuels and Emerging Technology

Topic: A Highly Efficient, Selective, and Green Process for Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass to High-Energy-Density Sugar Molecules ($17,000)

Researcher: Eugene Chen, Department of Chemistry

Topic: Chemical Fixation and Programmed Release of CO2 for Sequestration ($17,000)

Researcher: Tomislav Rovis, Department of Chemistry

Topic: Evaluation of Miscanthus as a Bioenergy Crop in Colorado and Development of Genetic Resources ($18,000)

Researchers: Nora Lapitan, Joe Brummer, and Junhua Peng, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Topic: Overcoming the Bottleneck of Oilseed Crop Development for Biofuels through Mutagenesis and Interspecies Crosses ($15,300)

Researchers: Patrick Byrne and Shusong Zheng, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

-Solar, Wind, and Efficiency

Topic: Applying Structural Reliability Methods to Improve the Design of Wind Turbine Gearboxes ($17,000)

Researcher: Rabecca Atadero, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Topic: A combined wind and turbine monitoring radar system for an integrated turbine management ($18,000)

Researchers: V. Chandrasekar Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dusanka Zupanski, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere

Topic: Conformal Coating of Polymer Electrolytes for Applications in High Surface Area Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries ($17,000)

Researcher: Amy Prieto, Department of Chemistry

Topic: Environmental and Social Monitoring at Maxwell Ranch Wind Farm ($29,000)

Researchers: Ken Wilson, Liba Pejchar Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Peter Newman, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources; Jeremy Siemers, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Boris Kondratieff, Andrew Norton, Thomas Holtzer, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management; Kurt Fistrup, National Park Service; and Paul Cryan, U.S. Geological Survey.

-Cross-Cutting Topics

Topic: Training Extension Agents to Educate Coloradoans ($15,000)

Researchers: Leigh Fortson and Irene Shonle, CSU Extension

Topic: Organizational Innovation for Energy Conservation ($29,000)

Researchers: Jennifer Cross, Department of Sociology; Zinta Byrne, Department of Psychology; and Bill Franzen and Stu Reeve, Poudre School District