Dr. Chunshan Song-Director, EMS Energy Institute, Associate Director, IEE, Distinguished Professor of Fuel Science and Chemical EngineeringWelcome to the spring 2020 edition of the EMS Energy Institute (EI) Newsletter. This edition showcases faculty research in several topical areas, introduces new employees, and highlights the new EI seed grants and the honors received by our students, faculty, and staff.

The research, education, and outreach efforts of the institute continue to focus on energy and energy-related environmental effects and involve researchers in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Engineering, along with collaborators worldwide. Current research projects cover the production and use of energy, along with associated environmental issues. While Penn State has a long history of carbon science and engineering, we saw a resurgence in this activity over the last year with several carbon materials projects being implemented. The number of publications from EI researchers in peer-reviewed journals has increased significantly, with 1,043 journal articles by the end of 2018. In 2018, thirty-three new external research projects were established, supported by more than $8.7 million in funding. Science citations to papers published by EI researchers continue to expand at an impressive rate, with 30,727 science citations by the end of 2018, according to the Web of Science. Those figures reflect our growth as an institute with more faculty, visiting scholars, and graduate students currently working in our labs, an increased presence at domestic and international conferences, researchers being awarded, more industry and government funded projects, and the ability to collaborate with researchers outside of Penn State through travel or online communication.

In Spring 2019, EI funded four new seed grant proposals based on a general call for proposals and a competitive peer review and selection process. Each of these new seed grant proposals involves collaborative research on novel ideas in one of three areas: energy production and upstream research; energy utilization and downstream research; and energy systems and materials. EI participated with Sarma Pisupati, Kwadwo Osseo-Asare, and Tim White in the development of the Center for Critical Minerals (C2M) that was recently established in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences under the leadership of Dean Kump. The institute, which hosts the center, provided C2M with $85,000 in seed funding and equipment as well as administrative and budget support. C2M is also supported by the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Office of the Dean and the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. More on the EI seed grants and C2M can be found in this newsletter.

We have also experienced a few changes in EI. We added new faculty and staff members to our ranks, but we also saw the departure of two staff members, Karlin Andersen, our communications specialist, who left to attend graduate school, and Ashley Comly, a staff assistant, who moved to another position within the University. We welcomed Jennifer Matthews and Grace Choi, who replaced Karlin and Ashley, respectively.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the EI faculty members, research staff, students, and visiting scholars whose ideas and hard work have advanced energy science and engineering research, resulting in many publications, awards, and honors. I also want to thank our staff members whose hard work supports our faculty-driven research efforts. In closing, I hope you will find the contents of this issue interesting. Please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments.

Dr. Chunshan Song
Director, EMS Energy Institute
Distinguished Professor of Fuel Science and Chemical Engineering