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DOE selects Syracuse University to help manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint

The College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University is among 32 schools that will work to help local manufacturers improve their energy efficiency, as part of a $60 million investment.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected the participating universities, Syracuse said in a news release.

The DOE and its “largest-ever cohort” of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) will help small- and medium-sized manufacturers in reducing their carbon emissions and lowering energy costs, while training the next generation of energy-efficiency workers.

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The investment will help remove barriers to decarbonization across the manufacturing sector and advance the goal of reaching a clean-energy economy, Syracuse said.

“America’s best and brightest university students are successfully helping local manufacturers reduce pollution, save energy, and cut their electricity bills,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in the release. “DOE’s university-based Industrial Assessment Centers are assisting small- and medium-sized businesses—particularly those in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities—in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050.”

The IACs will focus on improving productivity; enhancing cybersecurity; promoting resiliency planning; and providing trainings to entities located in disadvantaged communities. The cohort will also engage in a new pilot project to expand to the commercial-building market.

As part of the pilot, selected IACs will partner with community colleges and technical programs to train diverse students and professionals to conduct energy-efficiency assessments of small to medium-sized buildings, including those located in disadvantaged communities.

To date, the IACs program has provided nearly 20,000 no-cost assessments for small- and medium-sized manufacturers and more than 147,000 recommendations for improvement measures. Assessments typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities.

The IACs program — one of DOE’s longest-running programs — is managed by the department’s advanced-manufacturing office.

At Syracuse University, 10 to 15 students are involved at a time and the team conducts 20 assessments each year, Jackie Anderson, assistant teaching professor and engineering management graduate program director, said. She is part of the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

“I am looking forward to working alongside our students to make an environmental impact by helping improve energy efficiency at manufacturing facilities across the state,” Anderson added.

 

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