OTTAWA — The University of Alberta is teaming up with China’s Tsinghua University to develop low-carbon, sustainable energy solutions while tackling global environmental challenges, according to the University of Alberta on April 20.
Officials from the University of Alberta, Tsinghua University and the Government of Alberta led by Premier Rachel Notley are in Beijing now to sign an agreement to create the Joint Research Centre for Future Energy and Environment.
Researchers of the center will collaborate on a range of problems related to energy, environment and climate change, renewable energy, advanced power systems, energy transport and more.
“This is a rare opportunity for a Canadian university to partner with Tsinghua University in such a significant way,” said Larry Kostiuk, University of Alberta associate vice-president.” We come from different places and backgrounds, but we’re going to come together and leverage our different perspectives to solve common problems.”
Kostiuk said the joint research center is the latest evolution in more than two decades of collaborations between the University of Alberta and Tsinghua University, which is one of the best university in China and among the top in the world.
The center will be based at Tsinghua in a state-of-the-art research facility. Once construction is completed in the next three years, the center will be able to apply for grant funding through the Chinese Ministry of Education, which is establishing strategic international research centers across the country.
“There are a number of joint research centers in China. This is the only one with a Canadian university,” said Kostiuk, who will serve as the new centre’s deputy director while retaining his position as director of University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems initiative, which brings together researchers across disciplines to improve and develop new low-carbon energy technologies, integrate them into today’s infrastructure and understand the social and economic impact of their adoption.
Kostiuk said the creation of Future Energy Systems as well as the University of Alberta’s long-standing ties to Tsinghua, strengthened by a recent delegation led by President David Turpin, are key factors in the new partnership.
Turpin said the joint research center will leverage the strengths of world-leading talent at both institutions to address globally important issues such as clean energy, environment and climate change. Since 2012, the two institutions have collaborated on more than 30 research projects in these areas.
“Strengthening these collaborations will open even more avenues of discovery and lead to new ideas, technologies and innovations that will benefit both countries and the world,” Turpin added.