The Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin announces its 2023 Strategic Energy Seed Grant Program research teams, made possible by corporate partners Chevron, Shell, SLB and longtime University of Texas at Austin supporters ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips.

These grants will support the research of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to spark new, impactful and collaborative research focused on climate security and decarbonization of the energy sector.

Photo by NASA, Earth on Unsplash
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The partnerships, first announced in December 2022, allocate funds toward critical areas of research interest, and support opportunities for energy community members to engage directly with UT Austin students. In 2022, The Energy Institute awarded 17 interdisciplinary research teams more than $1 million dollars to help kickstart projects and attract federal funding for initiatives focused on emerging energy technologies aimed at reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions.

“This funding will help accelerate the scientific, engineering, technological, economic and policy innovations necessary to ensure that all people have access to the energy they need as global energy demand continues to rise,” says Brian Korgel, director of The Energy Institute and Rashid Engineering Regents Chair Professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. “It continues the momentum of initiatives aimed at dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and harmful environmental impacts.”

Nine teams, from The Cockrell School of Engineering and Jackson School of Geosciences were chosen from 46 proposals.

The 2023 Strategic Energy Seed Grant program represents an investment in the following diverse initiatives:

Industrial Decarbonization

  • Breaking the Hydrocarbon Cascade in Electric Process Heating: Strategies for Upgrading Fuel Gas Streams: Michael Baldea, Thomas C. Underwood and Buddie Mullins (McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics)
  • Modernizing Brownfield Electric Power System Reliability and Quality to Support the Electrification of Industrial Processes: Surya Santoso and Brian Johnson (Chandra Family Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering)

Carbon Management (Carbon capture, utilization, and storage, CCUS)

  • Long-term Surveillance of Plugged and Abandoned Wells for Immediate Detection of CO2 Leakage in Geologic Carbon Storage Sites: Sahar Bakhshian, Susan Hovorka and Michael H. Young (Jackson School of Geosciences – Bureau of Economic Geology)
  • Enabling Zero Carbon Emission by Electrochemical CO2 Reduction Technology: Guihua Yu, Jamie Warner and Yuanyue Liu (Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas Materials Institute)

Water Resource Use, Treatment, and Conservation

  • The Effects of Surfactants, Salt Concentration and Suspended Solids on Selective Oil Permeation: Lynn Katz and Frank Seibert (Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources)

Low and Zero-Carbon Fuels and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)

  • A Modular and Flexible DC-AC Converter Cell for Future Grid Systems: Brian Johnson and Alex Hanson (Chandra Family Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Manufacturing of High-Strength Nanolattice Coating for Cryogenic Liquid Hydrogen Fuel Storage: Chih-Hao Chang and Li Shi (Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering)
  • Analysis of Permian Basin Clean Ammonia Production, Distribution, and Market Demand: Michael Lewis, Ning Lin and Vaibhav Bahadur (Cockrell School of Engineering - Center for Electromechanics, Jackson School of Geosciences - BEG, Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering)
  • Microbial Reactions during Underground Hydrogen Storage: Kishore Mohanty and Wen Song (Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering)



Nora Ankrum
Energy Institute Research Project Manager and External Relations Coordinator, MPA
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.