The UNC SERC was founded in 2008 to serve as a regional hub for solar energy research. Its primary goal is to contribute to our energy future by taking a cue from natural photosynthesis by finding and developing ways to capture and store the energy of the sun in the high-energy chemical bonds of hydrogen and carbon-based solar fuels. Led by Professor Tom Meyer, the Center has attracted $33 million dollars in research funding and has taken a national leadership role scientifically and politically with workshops, conferences, symposia and public outreach forums with political and industry leaders. Through the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, funded UNC Energy Frontier Research Center, UNC EFRC, UNC SERC features the research of 16 faculty members including two members of the National Academy of Sciences.
Our research is headquartered at UNC, and through the UNC EFRC, UNC SERC is training the next generation of energy scientists with 70 Postdoctoral Fellows, 110 graduate students, and 30 undergraduate students trained or currently in training. UNC SERC has also taken a leadership role in educating the community by participating in outreach activities with over 20,000 people interactions so far, and bringing together industrial, academic and political leaders to discuss the future of solar and renewable energies in North Carolina.
As part of its outreach, UNC SERC has organized an annual scientific conference featuring local, national, and internationally recognized experts in solar fuels and related areas. Our previous meetings have been enthusiastically received, featuring prominent speakers from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, and Japan, with keynote talks from Nobel Prize nominees Michael Grätzel, Lausanne, and Louis Brus, Columbia University. Over 200 researchers from throughout the Southeast and beyond participate each year.
The 2016 meeting will feature seventeen scientific speakers, with talks from renowned scientists such as Neal Armstrong, University of Arizona, Victor Batista, Yale University, Elena Galoppini, Rutgers University, Elena Jakubikova, North Carolina State University, David Jonas, University of Colorado Boulder, Matt Kanan, Stanford University, Stephen Leone, University of California, Berkeley, Tim Lian, Emory University, Toni Llobet, Institut Català d'Investigació Química, Biwu Ma, Florida State University, Brian O'Regan, Imperial College London, John Reynolds, Georgia Institute of Technology, Chad Risko, University of Kentucky, Maureen Rouhi, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Esther Takeuchi, Stony Brook University. We look forward to you joining us in Chapel Hill this October.