UCSB Engineering

February 3, 2009

UCSB, Cambridge Researchers Share $2.1 Million trans-Atlantic Energy Efficiency Grant

Santa Barbara, CA – February 2, 2009 – Five UC Santa Barbara professors will share a $2.1 million grant with scientists from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom as part of Science Bridges, a project announced today by Research Councils UK (RCUK).

The UCSB-Cambridge project will focus on harnessing new materials for energy efficiency by building on existing collaborations to bring low-energy lighting technology to the prototype production stage. The $2.1 million award is part of $6 million in funding being provided by RCUK to six British universities and four partner institutions in the United States. The goal of the project is to turn leading scientific research into commercial projects.

"Both Cambridge and UCSB are interested in providing alternate forms of light," said Fred Wudl, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, who leads the project. "so our center for light is a big part of this. We're all trying to do something to reduce our carbon footprint."

UCSB scientists who are involved in the research are, in addition to Wudl: Steven DenBaars, co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center and a professor of materials and of electrical and computer engineering; Alan Heeger, Nobel laureate and professor of physics and of materials; Guillermo Bazan, professor of materials and of chemistry and biochemistry; and Thuc-Quyen Thai Nguyen, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Caltech, Stanford, and MIT are the other American universities receiving funds. Besides Cambridge, the U.K. institutions are University of Strathclyde, St. Andrews, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, and University of Manchester.

Caltech and Stanford will receive $2.3 million to work with Strathclyde, St. Andrews, Heriot-Watt, and Glasgow on new research in the field of photonics and photonic-enabled technologies such as imaging, solar energy conversion, and environmental sensing. MIT and Manchester will partner on innovative technology for health-care delivery.

"The U.K. is committed to partnering closely on cutting-edge research with top U.S universities like UCSB and Caltech," said British Consul General Bob Peirce. "These research collaborations will generate important commercial opportunities for Southern California and the U.K. That's really good news in these tough economic times."

Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Science and Innovation in the U.K., said: "The Science Bridges Awards are an excellent example of how the United Kingdom is encouraging research which has both strong international collaborations and close links with business. By working with international partners, we can benefit from their expertise and get more value from our investment in the U.K.'s world-class research economy. These collaborations have the potential to provide solutions to important challenges facing the U.K. and the world."

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Note to Editors: For more information on the UCSB project, contact Fred Wudl at (805) 893-5817, or e-mail at wudl@chem.ucsb.edu.

For more information on the Science Bridges collaborative research projects, contact Naomi Webber, Research Councils UK Office in the U.S. (202) 588-7962, or the British Consulate-General Press & Public Affairs Office in Los Angeles at (310) 996-3028.

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About the UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering
The College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara is a global leader in bioengineering, chemical and computational engineering, materials science, nanotechnology and physics. UCSB boasts five Nobel Laureates (four in sciences and engineering) and one winner of the prestigious international Millennium Technology Prize. Our students, professors and staff thrive in a uniquely-successful interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial culture. Our professors’ research is among the most cited by their peers, evidence of the significance and relevance of their work.

Tony Rairden

George Foulsham

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