Competetive seed grants grow energy ideas

Competetive seed grants grow energy ideas

The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR), chartered in 2006, supports innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration by funding competitive “seed grants” for energy sciences research. About Us describes the mission, goal, vision, center organization and administration, including the Director, Associate Director, Executive Council and the External Advisory Committee. Contact Us gives the office address plus contact information for the Center’s staff. Use the Whittier Research Center Map or UNL’s Campus Maps to locate the NCESR office in Suite 230 of the Whittier Research Center, 2200 Vine Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.

NCESR hosts biofuels / bioproducts symposium

On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR) will host the UNL Biofuels and Bioproducts Symposium at the University of Nebraska City Campus Union.  The goal of this symposium was to foster future collaborations among UNL biofuels/bioproducts scientists in going forward with grant applications. During the symposium, UNL faculty working in the biofuels/bioproducts will present their energy science research interests through oral and poster presentations. This day-long event will be held in the Nebraska Union.  To register for the symposium, go to

Sheldon Station Tour

The Energy Center Summer Interns and the Bioenergy REU (NSF funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates) interns journeyed to the Sheldon Station on Thursday, June 25. The Sheldon Station is a coal-fired generating plant located near Hallam, Nebraska.  Once there, the interns were greeted by Chuck Forsgren, the Sheldon Plant tour guide, and Alan Dostal, Corporate Nuclear Business Manager from NPPD. A video about the Sheldon Station gave the interns background information that was helpful to them as they toured the facility.  Throughout the tour, the students had the opportunity to ask many questions while they learned about the process of converting coal to energy. Sheldon Station Tour Pictures

In the near future, the Sheldon Station will burn hydrogen instead of coal to power one of two steam boilers. To learn more about this exciting change, click Monolith Announcement.

Modeling of new atomic structures of gold nanoparticles is funded by Energy Center


Led by UNL’s Xiao Cheng Zeng and former visiting professor Yi Gao, new research has revealed four atomic arrangements of a gold nanoparticle cluster. The arrangements exhibit much lower potential energy and greater stability than a standard-setting configuration reported last year by a Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University.

The modeling of these arrangements could inform the cluster’s use as a transporter of pharmaceutical drugs and as a catalyst for removing pollutants from vehicular emissions or other industrial byproducts, Zeng said.

Summer undergraduate internships selected for 2015

Four undergraduate students were selected as recipients of the Darrell J. Nelson Summer Undergraduate Internship in Energy Sciences Research for the summer of 2015.  The four recipients and their supervising faculty members are:   Boqiang Tu sponsored by Professor Concetta DiRusso, Department of Biochemistry;   Riley Giesler sponsored by Professor David Berkowitz, Department of Chemistry;   Mason Marcolina sponsored by Professor Wayne Riekhof, School of Biological Sciences; and Ethiyal Raj Wilson sponsored by Professor Peter Dowben, Department of Physics and Astronomy.    The internship is named after Mr. Darrell J. Nelson, who served 41 years on the Custer County Public Power District and Nebraska Public Power (NPPD) Boards.  In 2005, Mr. Nelson proposed a partnership between NPPD and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for the purpose of engaging in energy sciences research.  The following year, the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR) was created with NPPD’s support.  At the end of the paid internship, each student will prepare a summary report that describes their experience and prepare a poster to describe the accomplishments or results of their work experience in energy sciences research. The research poster will be presented at the Nebraska Summer Research Symposium which will take place on Wednesday, August 12 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Nebraska Union.

Video showcases five energy research projects

The Nebraska Public Power District recently produced a video showcasing five energy research projects funded through the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research.  The
University of Nebraska-Lincoln  professors leading these projects are Galen Erickson, Animal Science; Concetta DiRusso, Biochemistry;  Joe Luck, Biological Systems Engineering; James Specht, Agronomy and Horticulture;  and Alexander Sinitskii, Chemistry.  To view the video, go to Video Showcases Five Energy Research Projects  Click on Research Grant Awards to see more information about all research projects.

Energy Center grant leads to new materials that could help with carbon storage

With funding from the Energy Center, Xiao Cheng Zeng and his research team discovered a new material that could have significant implications from carbon storage to planetary science and solid lubrication.  Tom Simons, University Communications shares more about these developments in the UNL Today article, “New material could help with carbon storage”. Full Story

NCESR-funded seed grant leads to development in graphene research

With funding from the Energy Center, Alexander Sinitskii and his research team are developing answers to questions about harnessing the conductivity of graphene.  Tom Simons, University Communications shares more about these developments in the UNL Today article, “Team develops chemical solution for graphene challenges.”  Full Story