Colorado State University Clean Energy Supercluster Announces 2010 Seed Grants

The Clean Energy Supercluster has distributed its third round of seed grants – $198,400 to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and jumpstart larger research initiatives at Colorado State University.

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 where appropriate,” said Professor Bryan Willson, director of the Clean Energy Supercluster and chief scientific officer of Cenergy, the technology transfer company attached to the Supercluster. For more information about the Clean Energy Supercluster, visit

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.

“Each of these grant awards were carefully chosen and vetted by a great team of researchers in the Clean Energy Supercluster, prior to being judged for commercialization potential,” Reeser said. “I believe that this vetting process will yield an excellent field of clean energy solutions.”

The following 13 projects span five colleges and 15 departments that include 33 faculty members, community members and students:

Biofuels and Emerging Technology

Molecular Diagnostics for Algae Production Systems ($19,705)
Researchers: Stephen Chisholm and Ned Tisserat, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management

Processing Liquid Biomass Using Decarboxylation Reactions ($19,705)
Researchers: Debbie Crans, Department of Chemistry, Charles Henry, Departments of Chemistry and Chemical and Biological Engineering, Ken Reardon, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Energy Storage Systems Utilized for Smart-Grid Applications ($20,000)
Researchers: Peter Young, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Daniel Zimmerle, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Solar, Wind, and Efficiency

Predictive Modeling of Wind Farm Power and On-line Optimization of Wind Turbine Control ($15,000)
Researcher: Charles Anderson, Department of Computer Science

Development of a Portable Low-Cost Irrigation Pump Set for Developing Economies ($18,000)
Researchers: Anthony Marchese, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Paul Hudnut and Mitesh Gala, Department of Management

Developing Tools for the Discovery of Earth-Abundant Metal Solar Photoconversion Active Sites ($18,000)
Researchers: Anthony Rappé and Matthew Shores, Department of Chemistry

Thin Film-based Thermoelectric Generators ($18,000)
Researchers: John Williams, Thomas Bradley, and Daniel Zimmerle, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Cross-Cutting Topics

A Social Marketing Campaign to Increase Participation in the CSU Green Power Program ($12,500)
Researchers: Patricia Aloise-Young and Adam Zaleski, Department of Psychology

BIOCHAR: An Assessment of Potential Energy, Environmental and Economic Benefits ($20,000)
Researchers: Francesca Cotrufo and Catherine Keske, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Morgan DeFoort, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Developing a Technology-Neutral, Benefit-Pricing Policy for the Colorado Electricity Sector ($15,000)
Researchers: Gregory Graff, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Terry Iverson, Department of Economics

Undergraduate Curriculum Development for an Interdisciplinary Bioenergy Concentration ($7,500)
Researchers: Catherine Keske, Jerry Johnson, Jay Ham, and Joe Brummer, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Clean Energy Curriculum: Wind, Solar, and Fuel Cell Systems ($7,500)
Researchers: Michael de Miranda, School of Education and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Tom Siller, College of Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The CSU Power House Energy Science Kit ($7,500)
Researchers: Andrew Warnock, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education; Marcee Camenson, Fort Collins Utilities; Willa Williams, Kathy Wolfe, CSU Extension; Michael Viney, Blevins Middle School in Fort Collins; Annette Geiselman, Fort Collins Discovery Science Center