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University of Waterloo's Ian Rowlands on the recent NESTNet mission to the United States

By: Ian Rowlands
October 10, 2018

Left to right: Lukas Swan, Bala Venkatesh, Imre Gyuk, Karen Ho-Cespedes, Chris White, Ian Rowlands.

During the last week of September, five members of NESTNet travelled to the United States in order to learn about energy storage research activities going on south of the border and to identify areas for potential future cooperation. This trip was a key part of the network’s broader internationalization strategy.

Every year, leading energy storage researchers in the United States gather to report on the progress of projects supported by the Department of Energy, external link, opens in new windowThis year’s event, external link, opens in new window was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and brought together scientists from nearby Sandia National Laboratory, external link, opens in new window, as well as Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, external link, opens in new windowOak Ridge National Laboratory, external link, opens in new window, and a number of universities and other organizations.  PDF filePanels, external link, opens in new window focused on a range of energy storage topics — including materials, systems, and economics. More than 100 researchers spent two-and-a-half days presenting, discussing, and planning.

Canadian delegation members represented the breadth of NESTNet’s activities. Participants were:

  • Bala Venkatesh, Ryerson University (Network Director)
  • Ian Rowlands, University of Waterloo (Network Internationalization Leader)
  • Lukas Swan, Dalhousie University (Project 2.5 Leader)
  • Chris White, Dalhousie University (Project 2.5 PhD student)
  • Karen Ho-Cespedes, Ryerson University (Network Manager)

The U.S. hosts — led by Dr. Imre Gyuk, external link, opens in new window — welcomed the Canadians warmly, and the visitors were fully engaged in proceedings. In addition to receiving valuable insights delivered during presentations and having the opportunity to pursue possibilities during various networking opportunities, the Canadian delegation also toured Santa Fe Community College, external link, opens in new window’s microgrid and associated technologies. Additionally, Sandia National Laboratory hosted the delegation for a half-day to visit laboratories and to have further discussions.

Follow-up to this highly-successful trip is already underway. Delegation members are not only continuing conversations they began in New Mexico, but they are also reaching out to relevant network colleagues to gauge their interest in following up on particular leads. This all bodes well for future work together between Canadian and U.S. researchers.

Ian Rowlands is an associate vice-president, international, and professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. He is also NESTNet's leader of internationalization. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on the University of Waterloo website, external link, opens in new window.

"This all bodes well for future work together between Canadian and U.S. researchers."