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International Materials Institute to be Established at McCormick

A $4 million National Science Foundation International Materials Institute for Solar Energy Conversion will be established at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University.

The Institute, led by Bob Chang, professor of materials science and engineering and director of the Materials Research Institute, will develop a network of global materials researchers and train young U.S. researchers, as well as inform and educate citizens about solar energy stewardship.

The Institute will form a partnership with Tsinghua University in China in organic/inorganic photovoltaic cells and will also partner with researchers from Louisiana State University and Argonne National Laboratory. In addition to photovoltaic cell research, participating universities will also develop educational content for college, pre-college, and the public including joint undergraduate courses on energy topics and modules for K-12 math and science classes. The Institute will also focus on global leadership development for U.S. graduate students.

"Solar cell research has a large potential impact on sustainable energy usage, the environment, and economic development worldwide," says Chang. "The IMI program will build U.S. capacity in solar energy research by linking U.S. expertise with best international practices, building collaborative partnerships abroad, and preparing the next generation of U.S. researchers to enter the global workforce as leaders."